Alexio jailed for defying Virginia subpoena
Former heavyweight kickboxing star Dennis Alexio is behind bars for failing to appear as a witness before a federal grand jury.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi ordered Alexio yesterday to be detained until June 22, when the U.S. marshals are expected to transport him to the Western District of Virginia.
Alexio objected, saying, "I want immediate release."
Alexio has been in federal custody since his arrest June 12 at his Aiea home. The Western District of Virginia, Roanoke Division had issued a warrant for his arrest April 20 when he failed to appear as summoned to testify.
The grand jury is investigating an unidentified woman for using bogus Internal Revenue Service documents with the intent to defraud. The target of the investigation alleged that Alexio provided information during a conference call or on an Internet blog that she relied on. "It is essential and necessary to the grand jury investigation that Alexio describe any conversations he had with the target," U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said in court documents.
Alexio and his attorney, Assistant Federal Defender Loretta Faymonville, disagree, calling the government's conduct "harassment."
Alexio is only a witness, not a defendant in a criminal case, but is being treated like a criminal, Faymonville said. He doesn't have a blog and the grand jury doesn't need his testimony if they have the blog, she added.
"It's obvious he's the target of the investigation and if he was brought before the grand jury, he would claim his Fifth Amendment right," she said.
Alexio has never been to the Western District of Virginia, she said. Faymonville added that she didn't know if Alexio knows the target of the investigation.
In court, Alexio denied being the "entity" named in the subpoena and denies that the person named in the warrant is him. But he acknowledged that he is Dennis Alexio.
"Once again, people are allowed to perjure themselves on the witness stand to facilitate the fraud of the federal government against its citizens," Alexio said later through his attorney.
Faymonville said she intends to call the federal defender's office in the Western District of Virginia to challenge the subpoena.
Alexio said his incarceration is causing his family hardship. He said he needed to be home with his wife, who recently gave birth and had a C-section, and to care for three other children.
IRS agents served Alexio with the grand jury subpoena on March 2 at his Aiea home, but he refused to accept it.
The government contacted Alexio by phone nine days later offering assistance with travel arrangements, but he made it clear that he wasn't going to comply with the subpoena. Instead, he faxed the court in Abingdon a day before he failed to appear informing the court of his intent not to comply.