Judge orders Oahu organized crime suspect held without bail

HONOLULU — A federal judge has ordered an Oahu businessman held without bail pending trial on multiple charges stemming from a lengthy organized crime ring investigation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield on Tuesday granted federal prosecutors’ request for the detention of Michael Miske Jr. without bond.

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The prosecutors said Miske, 46, poses a danger to the community and is a flight risk.

FBI agents arrested Miske July 15 on a federal indictment that also named 10 alleged associates.

The government filed a motion last week to continue the trial for a year due to the complexity of the case. A hearing on the motion has yet to be scheduled.

Federal prosecutors alleged Miske led a criminal enterprise that for years has engaged in violence against rivals, competitors and innocent community members.

Miske “participated in, directed and facilitated numerous assaults, kidnapping, extortion, the use of firearms, attempted murder and murder for hire,” prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Inciong said during the detention hearing that investigators identified more than two dozen victims from 2003 to 2018, including a majority described as innocent victims who were assaulted or threatened by Miske or others at his direction.

Prosecutors alleged Miske made multiple threats against at least three police officers in 2007 and 2015.

Miske is a flight risk because of his access to million dollars in assets, Inciong said.

Attorney Thomas Otake, who represents Miske, disputed the government’s allegations that one of Miske’s businesses, Kamaaina Termite & Pest Control, served as a front for money laundering.

Miske is not a flight risk because the government has seized his assets and frozen his bank accounts, Otake said.

“Mr. Miske is a lifelong resident of Hawaii. His ties to the this community could not be stronger,” said Otake, who requested Miske be placed under house arrest with GPS monitoring until the trial.

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Miske’s legal defense team has grown to include a court-appointed attorney in addition to his two private attorneys. The addition occurred after Kenji Price, the U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaii, said after Miske’s arrest that he wished to seek the death penalty.

Three of the charges against Miske are considered “death-eligible” counts, but only U.S. Attorney General William Barr can authorize prosecutors to seek the death penalty in the case.

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