Criminal charges against former Honolulu business owner and accused racketeering boss, Michael J. Miske Jr., and six remaining co-defendants, were updated this week in a new superseding indictment handed up by a federal grand jury on Wednesday, and filed in Honolulu’s U.S. District Court Thursday afternoon.

This latest indictment adds two counts of obstruction of justice to the charges Miske was already facing. Each of the obstruction charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The indictment also restates 20 of the original criminal counts, which include murder for hire, kidnapping, assault in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other drugs, robbery, use of a weapon in a crime of violence, a drug trafficking crime and bank fraud.

In an additional housekeeping matter, four defendants were dropped from the indictment because they each pleaded guilty in the 17 months since a previous superseding indictment was filed in July 2021, and are already awaiting sentencing. 

Trial in the case is now scheduled to begin in April.

Mike Miske and other defendants in the government’s massive criminal case are now scheduled for trial in April. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2015

New Allegations

The indictment alleges Miske “knowingly and corruptly influenced, obstructed, impeded, and attempted to influence, obstruct, and impede … a foreseeable criminal proceeding before a Court of the United States regarding the criminal activities of Miske and the Miske Enterprise.”

In two separate instances, Miske allegedly caused someone identified only as “Individual A” to create fake or modified character reference letters that Miske knew would eventually be submitted in court.

In the first case, Individual A created what the indictment calls a “false” character reference letter “attesting to Miske’s good character.” According to the indictment, the false letter was submitted in the name of another person with the initials “K.N.”

Court records show a letter was supposedly submitted and signed by Kurt Nosal, described as a longtime sales representative for Univar, a company providing pest control chemicals, tools and training. The letter, signed by Nosal, was among a batch of seven character references collected by Miske’s attorneys in 2018 and 2019 in anticipation of his indictment and arrest. Following Miske’s arrest, the letters were submitted to the court in August 2020 as evidence purporting to demonstrate he could be safely released from custody pending trial.

Nosal’s letter was the only one signed by someone with initials “K.N.,” federal court records show.

“In the last twenty years, I have known Mike to be a dependable, honest, and generous man,” the letter states. “Despite the highs and lows of his life, Mike has always come across as a person of good moral character.”

The indictment alleges that obtaining this false character reference and causing it to be filed in court in an attempt to influence the court’s decision on Miske’s request for release on bond, constituted the criminal offense of obstruction of justice.

Individual A allegedly “altered” a second character reference letter submitted in the name of “L.K.,” who is not further identified in the indictment.

Mike Miske and others were arrested in 2020 and FBI agents raided homes and businesses owned by Miske. Hawaii News Now/2020

However, it appears to refer to an undated letter signed by Larry Kapu, who wrote that he had been hired by Miske in 2015 as a termite inspector and later promoted to service manager. In the letter, Kapu praised Miske’s support after Kapu’s mother suffered a heart attack. This letter was also included among those filed in court.

The indictment provides no information as to how the letter was altered, or the extent of the alleged changes.

There is no indication that the purported authors of either letter were aware of or participated in the alleged obstruction of justice.

Three Years, Four Grand Jury Indictments

This is the fourth version of the federal charges filed in the Miske case. 

In June 2019, Miske and Michael Buntenbah were named in a sealed indictment that charged the pair with conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine after a drug buy in California, allegedly funded by $400,000 in cash provided by Miske, was broken up by federal drug enforcement agents.  

A year later, in June 2020, Miske, Buntenbah and nine additional co-defendants were named in a superseding indictment, which remained sealed until they were arrested in a series of raids a month later. This 22-count indictment was the first to spell out the range of offenses allegedly committed by Miske and his associates, including the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Jonathan Fraser in July 2016, allegedly the result of a murder-for-hire conspiracy directed by Miske.

A second superseding indictment in July 2021 added two defendants while dropping two others who had pleaded guilty.

To date, six of the original defendants have entered guilty pleas and are cooperating with prosecutors. 

The remaining defendants, in addition to Miske, the alleged ringleader who controlled and directed the racketeering organization over two decades, are:

• John Stancil, Miske’s half-brother;

• Delia Fabro-Miske, the wife of Miske’s late son, Caleb Miske; 

• Jason Yokoyama, Miske’s longtime employee and business partner;

• Dae Han Moon, who was previously convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a fatal shooting at Ala Moana Center on Christmas Day 2016 that appears to have been linked to the drug activities of the Miske Enterprise; 

• Preston Kimoto, who was a trusted employee of Miske’s Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control;

• Jarrin Young, who allegedly participated in drug crimes and armed robberies along with other Miske associates.

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About the Author

  • Ian Lind
    Ian Lind is an award-winning investigative reporter and columnist who has been blogging daily for more than 20 years. He has also worked as a newsletter publisher, public interest advocate and lobbyist for Common Cause in Hawaii, peace educator, and legislative staffer. Lind is a lifelong resident of the islands. Read his blog here. Opinions are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat's views.