BY JIM DOOLEY – Honolulu Police Major Carlton S. Nishimura pleaded not guilty to new federal drug charges added to an existing criminal case alleging Nishimura is guilty of extortion and witness tampering.
Nishimura had been free on bail until his arrest by federal agents Monday on the drug charges following a raid on his Waianae home and seizure of a half-pound of crystal methamphetamine there.
A hearing on whether Nishimura is eligible to post bail again was delayed until November 29.
In court today, U.S. Public Defender Peter Wolff argued that the case against Nishimura – including the new charges – is fatally flawed because of perjured grand jury testimony he believes has been delivered by Nishimura’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Doni Mei Imose.
Imose, who is awaiting sentencing in another federal drug case, told one of her lawyers that she lied to the grand jury that indicted Nishimura in February.
Imose testified again this week before a new grand jury, asserting that she had lied to her lawyer and that her earlier testimony against Nishimura was the truth, Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Cushman said in court today.
Wolff said that among the items seized by FBI agents this week at Nishimura’s home was a digital recording of Imose again admitting that she perjured herself to the grand jury. Wolff said he wants the government to supply him with that recording.
Cushman countered that there are indications on the recording that Nishimura was “coaching” Imose on what to say.
She also said that Nishimura has repeatedly violated court instructions to have no contact with Imose.
Federal Magistrate-Judge Barry Kurren said he will review a transcript of Imose’s most recent grand jury testimony before deciding how to proceed.
Along with the new drug charges against Nishimura, the government has also now alleged that Nishimura improperly discussed a “federal task force investigation into the United Samoan Organization” and then falsely told FBI agents that no such discussion had occurred.
Nishimura was 0n leave with full pay from the police department since the February indictment. The department changed his status to leave-without-pay following Monday’s arrest.