Jewelry robbery defendant is denied bail
A magistrate agrees one of two men accused in the $2-million heist poses a flight risk
One of two men accused of robbing a jewelry salesman of $2 million worth of jewelry in the parking lot of a Waipahu restaurant has been ordered detained until trial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren granted the government's motion yesterday to detain Marvin Quemado, of Waipahu, ruling that he presents a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Quemado allegedly called an acquaintance, Bryan Higa,* on June 1 and told him about a suitcase full of jewelry that two salespeople had brought to his parents' Waipahu home.
Higa apparently followed the jewelry vendors, a married couple, to the Golden Coin Restaurant in Waipahu.
As the salesman was getting a suitcase containing the jewelry out of his trunk, Higa allegedly pulled up from behind and fired a shot in the air to scare him and threatened to kill the man. He then allegedly took the suitcase.
Police arrested Higa in Pearl City following a chase by patrolmen and the police helicopter. Some of the jewelry was recovered in Higa's car.
Police later recovered more of the jewelry based on an anonymous tip that Quemado had buried it in a pipe in Mokuleia. When the pipe was excavated, only 20 percent of the jewelry was recovered, according to police.
Quemado was arrested on June 5. He has been charged with violating the federal Hobbs Act, which outlaws extortion affecting interstate commerce.
In a June 7 request, government prosecutors had asked that Quemado be detained without bail because he was on probation and because the alleged crime involved violence. They also argued that there was serious risk that he would flee and pose a danger to others.
Assistant Federal Defender Donna Gray declined comment.
Friday, June 16, 2006
» Bryan Higa is one of two defendants in a $2 million jewelry heist on June 1. His first name was misspelled as Brian in a Page A12 article Wednesday.