OFFICER ARRAIGNED IN GAMBLING CASE
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Glenn Miram, center, appeared in U.S. District Court yesterday to face charges accusing him of conspiring to protect an illegal North Shore gambling business. He was accompanied by his wife, Heather, and his attorney, William Harrison.
Defense denies police conspiracy
Supervisors guided the officer's actions, his attorney contends
A Honolulu narcotics vice officer contends he was just doing his job and denies conspiring with two fellow officers and others to engage in illegal gambling activities.
Glenn Miram pleaded not guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to charges in an April 6 indictment accusing him of conspiring with four other individuals to protect an illegal gambling business on the North Shore by warning the operators of imminent police raids.
Miram will "vigorously" defend the charges against him, said his attorney, William Harrison, who described his client as "poorly supervised and poorly trained."
Miram has been with the Honolulu police for seven years, the last 2 1/2 years with narcotics vice.
"Basically, he was operating under orders of supervisors ... and did not know what was going on in terms of the operation and was not involved willfully or intentionally in any kind of conspiracy to commit any illegal acts," Harrison said.
Miram participated in covert operations by gathering intelligence and sharing the information with other officers involved in other operations, he said.
Harrison said Miram's supervisors, whom he was not at liberty to identify, were not present during the operations. "That's the problem -- his supervisors were not around when they were told to do operations so we don't even know who technically (were) his supervisors."
Also pleading not guilty yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Leslie Kobayashi were Eric Moniz and Jess Lundgren, both of Waialua, who were charged in a separate indictment along with six others with conspiring to distribute crystal methamphetamine. Both were ordered detained until trial.
Kobayashi concluded that Moniz was a danger to the community based on the discovery of firearms and a significant amount of drugs at his home during a search. Investigators seized 7.2 grams of ice, six rifles and 235 rounds of ammunition.
Moniz's attorney, Clayton Kimoto, argued that his client has lived here all his life, has a stable job as a truck driver for Aiwohi Trucking and has the support of his family, several of whom attended yesterday's hearing.
Lundgren is accused of collecting drug debts for codefendant Damien Kalei Hina and possessing Hina's drug ledger and more than $46,000 in drug proceeds.
Keele Vesnefski and Ahisa Kaluhiokalani also pleaded not guilty to conspiring to distribute crystal methamphetamine in a separate indictment. Both were detained pending trial.
Vesnefski is also accused of possessing a 9 mm pistol loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition. The government is also seeking to forfeit $8,350 dollars in alleged drug proceeds that were found in his vehicle.