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July 15, 2020Honolulu, HI, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

11 defendants charged in Hawaii federal court with racketeering and other offenses

Superseding indictment includes charges against Michael J. Miske, Jr. for the July 2016 kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser

HONOLULU, Hawaii – A superseding indictment was unsealed today in U.S. District Court charging Michael J. Miske, Jr., and 10 other defendants with racketeering conspiracy and other offenses. The superseding indictment includes charges against Miske for his role in the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser in July 2016.

The case is the result of an extensive multi-agency investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Honolulu, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.

A prior indictment, which charged Miske and another defendant with participation in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, was also unsealed today.

Eight of the defendants were arrested today. One defendant has not been arrested and remains at large. Two of the defendants, Lance Bermudez and Dae Han Moon, were already in state custody.

As alleged in the superseding indictment, from at least in or about the late 1990s, up to and including the date of the superseding indictment, Michael J. Miske, Jr., aka “Bro,” John B. Stancil, Kaulana Freitas, aka “Shorty,” Lance L. Bermudez, aka “Hammah,” Dea Han Moon, aka “Dayday,” Preston M. Kimoto, Harry K. Kauhi, aka “Harry Boy,” Norman L. Akau III, Hunter J. Wilson, and Jarrin K. Young, the defendants, and others known and unknown, conspired to conduct and participate in the conduct of the affairs of a racketeering enterprise, the “Miske Enterprise,” through a pattern of racketeering activity.

The racketeering activity included acts involving murder, kidnapping, arson, and robbery. It also included acts relating to murder-for-hire, chemical weapons, extortionate credit transactions, racketeering, interference with commerce through robbery and extortion, drug trafficking, wire fraud, fraud in connection with identification documents, financial institution fraud, the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.

From at least in or about March 2016 and continuing to on or about July 30, 2016, Miske conspired with others to kidnap and murder 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser. In March 2016, Miske instructed a co-conspirator to develop a plan for kidnapping and murdering Fraser, and told that co-conspirator that he/she could name the price for carrying out the murder. In or about June 2016, Miske arranged for the purchase of a Boston Whaler vessel that could be used to dump Fraser’s body into the ocean after Fraser was kidnapped and killed. On or about July 30, 2016, Fraser was kidnapped and killed. On that same day, another of Miske’s co-conspirators took Fraser’s significant other on a “spa day,” thereby ensuring that Fraser and his significant other would be separated from each other when Fraser was kidnapped.

Miske and other members and associates of the Miske Enterprise participated in various other acts of violence:

  • In or about 2016, Miske, Stancil, Bermudez, Moon, and Kauhi conspired to commit the murder-for-hire of an individual (“Victim-1”) whom Miske suspected of cooperating with law enforcement.
  • On or about May 23, 2017, Miske and Stancil attempted to cause the death of another person (“Victim-2”) and committed an assault of Victim-2, and did so using at least one firearm.
  • From the late 1990s and continuing to in or about 2018, Miske, Stancil, Buntenbah, and others known and unknown, conspired to commit assaults in aid of racketeering.
  • In or about October 2017, Miske, Kimoto, and others known and unknown conspired to kidnap another person (“Victim-3”) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Two of Miske’s co-conspirators, acting on his instructions, kidnapped Victim-3 in Honolulu and restrained him/her in their vehicle.
  • In or about 2016, Stancil, Bermudez, Kauhi, and Akau participated in a gunpoint robbery of another person (“Victim-4”) during which they robbed Victim-4 of methamphetamine.
  • On or about August 24, 2016, Bermudez and Wilson participated in a gunpoint robbery of another person (“Victim-5”) during which they robbed Victim-5 of controlled substances.
  • In or about March 2017, Miske, Stancil, and Freitas, and others known and unknown, conspired to release a chemical weapon, namely, chloropicrin, into nightclubs in Honolulu. As part of this conspiracy, chloropicrin was released into two different nightclubs.

Multiple defendants conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana.

Between on or about April 21, 2017 and July 3, 2017, Miske and others participated in a scheme to defraud Bank of Hawaii through the preparation and submission of materially false documents as part of loan applications.

This matter is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii.