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FBI, HPD probed gambling ring


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POSTED: Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Honolulu Police Department conducted its own investigation of a gambling operation that ran cockfights and card and dice games on property across from Waialua Elementary School.

But HPD shut down the investigation after the FBI served search warrants at the homes of a number of Honolulu police officers on March 31, 2005, including the homes of three officers charged in connection with the gambling operation, said Thomas Muehleck, assistant U.S. attorney.

Muehleck is the prosecutor in the federal trial of former Wahiawa patrol Sgt. Kevin Brunn, his wife, Micha Terragna, and Waialua residents Douglas Gilman Sr. and his sons Douglas Jr. and William.

They are charged with conspiracy to operate and operating an illegal gambling business. Brunn and Terragna are also charged with extortion, conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce through extortion and conspiracy to obstruct law enforcement.

Officer Joseph Hanawahine said he worked undercover for HPD's gambling detail and visited the Waialua gambling operation twice in February 2005. On both visits, he said, there were several hundred people betting on the cockfights, playing card games or eating food from venders at the site.

On his second visit, he said, he wore a hidden audio and video recorder.

Muehleck played some of the video for the jury yesterday before U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway released the jurors for the day. He expects to play the rest of the recordings for the jurors when they return to court Tuesday.

Four other defendants have already pleaded guilty in the case including Glenn Miram, a former member of HPD's gambling detail, and former Kaneohe patrol officer Bryson Apo. Both men pleaded guilty to charges that they gave the Waialua operators advance notice of raids by the gambling detail.

Apo is serving an 18-month prison sentence for conspiracy to obstruct law enforcement. He left HPD last year after nine years of service with the department.

Miram is awaiting sentencing. He left HPD in 2006 after seven years of service.

Brunn left HPD last year after 23 years with the department.

Muehleck said the federal investigation into the Waialua gambling operation was the result of wiretaps from a drug investigation of John Saguibo, one of the other defendants who pleaded guilty in the gambling case and is awaiting sentencing.

The wiretaps started with an investigation of an FBI secretary who was suspected of leaking sensitive information that helped drug traffickers.