Officer set up
in drug buy

Court documents say Corn accepted
$1,000 for helping execute a fake
crystal meth deal

A Honolulu police officer allegedly accepted $1,000 in cash as payment for providing protection during a fake drug buy on Thursday, according to federal court documents.

James Corn Jr. was arrested for conspiracy to distribute crystal methamphetamine after undercover agents asked him to help them with a 2-pound crystal methamphetamine drug deal at a Kakaako restaurant near Auahi and Kamakee streets. Court documents said Corn was given a black backpack that he was told contained "ice" and brought it over to undercover officers.

Corn walked back to the parking lot and was paid $1,000 for his services, according the documents. He allegedly told the undercover officer to "call him any time he needed assistance."

He was immediately arrested by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, along with Honolulu police and state sheriffs.

Corn made a brief appearance yesterday in U.S. District Court.

Assistant federal public defender Pam Byrne said Corn had read the complaint against him and understood the nature of the charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Muehleck has asked that Corn be detained without bail pending trial, saying he is a danger to the community and a flight risk. U.S. Magistrate Leslie Kobayashi set a detention hearing for Wednesday.

If convicted, Corn faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years' imprisonment and a $4 million fine.

Corn is also under investigation by Honolulu police internal affairs in two separate terroristic threatening incidents. Last December, Corn allegedly threatened to kill a man and smashed his car window with his police baton. The other incident was in February, when Corn allegedly threatened the owner of a Waipahu auto shop in a dispute over tire damage.

The Honolulu Police Department stripped Corn of his gun and badge and reassigned him to the communications division after the first incident last year.

While in custody after Thursday's arrest, Corn allegedly told arresting officers that he was addicted to cocaine, and admitted selling small quantities of it in the last year.

Star-Bulletin reporter Debra Barayuga contributed to this report.

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