More Legal Troubles For Honolulu Police Department Personnel

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BY JIM DOOLEY Two more Honolulu police personnel have been charged with insurance fraud by the state Attorney General’s office.

Earl Danielson Jr., a police recruit who was two weeks short of graduating from the police academy, was charged with insurance fraud and second-degree theft in October and pleaded no contest to the charges this week.

Danielson, 28, has asked state Circuit Judge Richard Perkins to defer acceptance of his no-contest plea. If granted, the deferral would result in erasure of the criminal charges if Danielson successfully completes a period of supervision by the court. Perkins will rule on the request February 12.

Three-year HPD officer Richard Moerles, 28, was also charged with insurance fraud and second-degree theft by the state in August.

He is currently at large and believed to be living in Idaho, according to the state Insurance Fraud Division.

A bench warrant is outstanding for his arrest.

HPD spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said today Moerles was separated from the department in August.

Police officer Cheyanne Garcia, 29, is currently awaiting sentencing after she also pleaded no contest last month to the same fraud and theft charges lodged against Danielson and Moerles.

Garcia, a three-year HPD veteran, was placed on restricted duty by the department pending resolution of the criminal case.

Garcia is also seeking deferred acceptance of her no-contest plea. Judge Collette Garibaldi has scheduled sentencing for January 11.

All the charges are based on false auto insurance claims filed by the defendants.

Other past and present HPD officers are currently facing much more serious legal trouble than Danielson, Moerles and Garcia.

An arrest warrant is outstanding for former officer Michael Tarmoun, 38, convicted earlier this year of sexually assaulting a Waikiki prostitute.

Tarmoun, who was on the force but off duty at the time of the assault, allegedly threatened to arrest the victim if she did not have sex with him.

The arrest warrant was issued after Tarmoun failed to appear for sentencing in Octobers.

HPD Major Carlton Nishimura is awaiting federal trial on charges including drug trafficking, extortion, attempted witness tampering and making false statements.

The charges are allegedly tied to illegal game room operations in Honolulu.

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