BY JIM DOOLEY – The amount of illegal methamphetamines seized by federal agents at Honolulu Police Major Carlton Nishimura’s house last month was far less than originally alleged by FBI agents, drug tests have shown.
According to court records and testimony delivered today, only about one ounce of nearly a half-pound of suspected illegal substances seized by FBI agents turned out to be methamphetamines.
The ounce of methamphetamines was of such impure quality that it could not have been sold on the street, said U.S Public Defender Peter Wolff, Nishimura’s lawyer.
Nishimura “knows nothing about” how the illegal drugs got into his house, Wolff said, although the lawyer hinted that they may have been planted by Nishimura’s sometime girlfriend, convicted drug dealer Doni Imose.
Imose, who is also known as Doni Imose-Crisolo, took the witness stand today in a hearing about whether Nishimura should be eligible for bail.
Imose has testified twice against Nishimura before a federal grand jury – once in February when he was indicted on charges of extortion, attempted witness tampering and making false statements, and again last month when the new drug possession charges were lodged against him.
In between, Imose renewed a love affair with Nishimura, spending weekends at his home and telling him she “felt bad” and “was sorry” for what her testimony had done to him, she said today.
“He and I were the only ones that knew what happened. In some ways I wish I could undo what I did,” Imose said.
But over that period of time, from April through July, Imose realized that Nishimura “wouldn’t take responsibility, any kind of responsibility, for what he did,” she said.
“I was really disappointed,” she said.
Imose said she and Nishimura gave each other prepaid cell phones so they could communicate with each other.
Wolff has argued that Imose, who is awaiting sentencing in a separate drug trafficking case, has falsely implicated Nishimura in criminal activities to save her own skin.
After Imose testified against Nishimura in February, his life was “destroyed,” Wolff said.
Then she came back into his life and “trapped him” again, Wolff said.
After telling Nishimura, “I wrecked your life, I want to make it right, I want to to fix this,” Imose went back to cooperating with the FBI and testified against him again, Wolff said.
Nishimura has never been a drug user or seller and there was no reason for the illegal substances to be in his house except for the fact that Imose, a drug user and convicted dealer, had been spending time there, the lawyer said.
Imose is facing “ten years to life in her own dope case,” and her husband, Jay Crisolo, a co-defendant with her, could be sentenced to “life without the possibility of parole,” said Wolff.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Muehleck said Nishimura should be denied bail because drugs, shotgun shells and brass knuckles were discovered in his house.
Wolff said Nishimura surrendered ten firearms after his February indictment but overlooked the shotgun shells.
Puglisi said Nishimura can again be released on bail if he posts an additional $150,000 bond and submits to other restrictions, including electronic monitoring of his movements.
Puglisi initially ordered that $50,000 of the new bond be posted in cash and the rest secured by property.
After Wolff protested that Nishimura couldn’t raise $50,000, Puglisi lowered the cash requirement to $25,000, to be posted by Nishimura’s elderly parents.
Muehleck said he intends to appeal Puglisi’s bail ruling.