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FBI Arrests HPD Major, Seizes Drugs From Waianae Home

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Nov 15 2011 05:22:11 AM HST
Updated On: Nov 15 2011 11:14:04 PM HST
HONOLULU -

A Honolulu Police Department major indicted earlier this year in a federal extortion case was arrested by the FBI at his Waianae home Monday night accused of intending to distribute the drug crystal methamphetamine.

Carlton Nishimura was indicted in February by a federal grand jury. He is accused of conspiring to accept bribes from illegal gambling operators in exchange for steering officers away from certain gaming rooms.

The FBI said it raided his Waianae home with a search warrant Monday night, discovering more than 200 grams worth of meth they believe Nishimura intended to distribute.

Investigators returned Tuesday evening with a drug-sniffing dog.

Agents could also be seen searching the yard of the Moelua Street home in the Pokai Bay Village subdivision with a metal detector.

They also poured through a packed garage.

Neighbors said they noticed lots of unusual traffic Monday night, but thought Nishimura was having a family get together.

"One car parked in front of our house, since around 10 o'clock in the morning," said Lucita Galano.

She said she heard people in the back yard until almost midnight.

Another neighbor who did not want to be identified described Nishimura as a nice and friendly man.

He said Nishimura's parents were long time farmers in Waianae Valley.

The man said Nishimura is divorced lived alone, although his adult son and daughter sometimes came to visit.

An FBI affidavit said its agents also found plastic baggies with meth and meth residue, three digital scales and other items that were consistent with drug distribution inside Nishimura?s home.

The affidavit was filed by an FBI agent who said he has been investigating Nishimura since 2008.

When Nishimura, a 30-year HPD veteran, was indicted earlier this year he was assigned to the legislative liaison office of the police department which lobbies state lawmakers and members of the city council on HPD?s behalf.

Sources said he's now working in the Community Affairs division on leave with pay.

Under HPD?s union contract, police administrators can place officers accused of wrongdoing on up to two months of unpaid leave, but officers have to be returned to paid leave after that until they face administrative discipline that can range from a written reprimand to suspension to firing.

The Feb. 18 indictment charged Nishimura conspired to obtain money from an illegal game room operator in exchange for what federal prosecutors said was "the performance and non-performance of office police acts."

The indictment said the alleged extortion happened between April 2004 and March 2006 when Nishimura was a captain in the urban Honolulu district.

Federal prosecutors also said Nishimura tried to convince a woman to lie about her conduct to the FBI after she routinely carried money between an illegal game room operator and Nishimura in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

The indictment also charged Nishimura with lying to FBI agents.

His defense lawyers filed court papers in recent weeks attacking the credibility of the key prosecution witness in that case, alleging that the witness admitted giving false grand jury testimony about Nishimura.

Sources said the witness is Nishimura's ex-girlfriend.

Sources told KITV4 News that Nishimura faced an internal affairs investigation at HPD while he was still a captain, but he was cleared of wrong doing and later promoted to major by former Police Chief Boisse Correa.

He previously headed the Criminal Investigation Division overseeing investigations of all kinds of crimes including murders, rapes, robberies, thefts and assaults.

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