Officer warned cockfighters
Apo pleads guilty to telling gamblers on the North Shore of likely police raids
A Honolulu police officer has admitted he warned operators of cockfighting and gambling operations in Waialua of impending law enforcement raids.
Bryson Apo, 31, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to conspiring with more than five others, including members of a large landowning family in Waialua and two other police officers, to obstruct the enforcement of state laws prohibiting illegal gambling, specifically cockfighting, craps and card games.
"As a police officer, I provided inside information to gambling organizations in Waialua," Apo said yesterday during questioning by U.S. District Judge Susan Mollway.
"I was not supposed to give out the information," he said, but did so to assist the activities and despite knowing that they were illegal.
Apo, a member of the Windward Crime Reduction Unit who is currently on paid administrative leave, was charged in an indictment along with co-defendants, Officers Kevin Brunn and Glenn Miram. The indictment stemmed from a two-year federal investigation that began in 2003 into illegal gambling and cockfighting in the rural North Shore town.
The illegal businesses flourished mainly on private property across from Waialua Elementary School on Waialua Beach Road that is owned by the family of co-defendant Charles Gilman.
According to a plea agreement, Apo admitted to receiving or obtaining "on a regular basis" between November 2004 and March 2005 information about when the gambling detail was going to raid the Waialua cockfights.
He provided the tips to operators of the cockfights and co-defendants Gilman, John Saguibo, Douglas Gilman Sr., Douglas Gilman Jr., Micha Terragna and William Gilman.
The information, which included dates of impending raids on Waialua and Waianae operations, was obtained from one or more gambling detail officers whom Apo did not identify.
Those officers knew, however, that Apo was going to provide it to the operators of the cockfights, which operated continuously for more than 30 days and had gross revenues of $2,000 in any single day, according to the plea agreement.
Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors would have presented evidence of telephone conversations obtained from wiretaps federal agents placed on the phone lines of Apo, Saguibo and Charles Gilman, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni.
Calls between Saguibo and co-defendant Terragna were also intercepted in which they discussed payment to Terragna and her husband, Officer Kevin Brunn, a 21-year police veteran, Nakakuni said.
Apo and his attorney, First Assistant Federal Defender Alexander Silvert, declined to comment further on the case.
Apo, the second officer to plead guilty in this case, faces a maximum of five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine when sentenced May 29. He remains free while awaiting sentencing under bail conditions imposed earlier by the court.
Miram, who resigned last year after seven years on the police force, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in December. He will be sentenced April 2.