Man admits gambling business
A Waialua man admits he paid off the girlfriend of a Honolulu police officer because he feared possible shutdown of his illegal gambling business that included cockfights, card games and craps on family property in Waialua.
"I was running the Waialua cockfights, and I was paying Micha Terragna weekly," Charles Gilman told U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren yesterday.
Gilman, 51, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to two charges stemming from drug and gambling conspiracies uncovered by a wiretap investigation in the rural North Shore town.
Also indicted last April in connection with the gambling conspiracy were three other relatives, police officers Kevin Brunn, Bryson Apo and Glenn Miram, and Terragna.
Gilman admitted to conspiring with co-defendants Brunn, Apo, Miram and Waialua resident John Saguibo to obstructing the enforcement of state laws that prohibit gambling.
In a plea agreement, Gilman admitted that he operated the illegal business on family land across from Waialua Elementary School along with his father, Douglas Gilman Sr., and his brothers Douglas Gilman Jr. and William Gilman.
He also admitted that Terragna was his "partner" in the Waialua cockfights that netted in excess of $2,000 on any single day.
The cockfights were in operation from at least November 2004 to March 31, 2005, when federal agents searched Gilman's home and the home of Brunn and Terragna.
The wiretaps caught conversations between Saguibo, Gilman and Apo about what happened at the cockfights, including the number of fights and number of draws, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni.
There were also calls between Gilman and Saguibo and Saguibo and Terragna regarding payments to her and Brunn, Nakakuni said.
According to the plea agreement, Gilman admitted that he paid Brunn and Terragna about $700 to $1,000 a week during the cockfighting season from November 2004 through March 2005.
Gilman admitted to paying Terragna, who lived with Brunn and has three children from him, because he believed Brunn was responsible for his not being in jail on drug charges and because Brunn threatened to "shut down" the cockfights unless he and Terragna were paid, the plea agreement said.
Gilman has state felony convictions in 1994 and 1995 involving drugs.
In the drug conspiracy, Gilman admitted to conspiring with co-defendants Keele Vesnefski, Ahisa Kaluhiokalani and others to distribute three pounds of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice."
As part of the plea agreement, Gilman has agreed to cooperate with investigators and testify if required against any co-defendants in any criminal or civil proceedings.
Gilman was allowed to remain free on bail until his sentencing July 12 before Chief U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor. He faces a maximum life term for the drug charges and up to five years for the gambling offenses.
Miram and Apo pleaded guilty earlier to their roles in the gambling conspiracy and will be sentenced in April and May, respectively.