Seven people have been charged with gambling-related offenses that allegedly took place in 2016 and 2017.
The charges were outlined in a pair of felony information complaints filed Feb. 8 in 3rd Circuit Court by county Prosecutor Mitch Roth.
The defendants in the first complaint are Lance Yamada, Stacy Yamada, Glen Haraguchi, April Whiting-Haraguchi, Justin D. Alpert and Rodney K. Worley Jr.
Both Yamadas, Haraguchi and Whiting-Haraguchi are charged with first-degree promotion of gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records, and conspiracy to promote gambling — all Class C felonies punishable by up to five years imprisonment upon conviction — and possession of a gambling device, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Alpert and Worley are charged with first-degree promotion of gambling, possession of gambling records, and conspiracy to promote gambling.
Bench warrants have been issued for the arrests of all six, with bail set at $10,000 for each. None had been taken into custody as of Friday morning.
Sergio Cabal is the lone defendant in the second complaint. He was arrested on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty Thursday to a single count of first-degree promotion of gambling. Trial has not been scheduled, but his next court hearing is set for 8 a.m. May 6 before Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura.
The alleged offenses in the first complaint, according to the document, occurred between March 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017, at Triple 7 Amusement, which was located at 500 Manono St. and later at 224 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo; Winners Zone/Winnerz Zone, aka Waiakea Games and Things, which was located at 511 West Kawailani St. in Hilo; Sports Zone, which was located at 74-5555 Kaiwi St. in Kailua-Kona; and Waimea Gaming Center, which was located at 84-1055 Mamalahoa Highway in Waimea.
Each of those establishments was among nine locations served search warrants and raided by local and federal authorities on March 1, 2016.
Police said 124 gambling machines and about $150,000 in cash were taken in those raids, which also included The Cave, a former arcade on Kilauea Avenue in Hilo.
The alleged offenses in the second complaint, according to the document, occurred between March 1-31, 2016. No address was given, but Reel Fun Amusements, which was owned by Cabal and located in the Waiakea Villas business complex in Hilo, also was raided and alleged gambling devices confiscated on March 1, 2016.
Jerrimie Pacheco, a co-owner of The Cave, was also among those booked on suspicion of gambling-related offenses, but a search of court records hasn’t turned up any charges as a result of the March 1, 2016, raid.
Triple 7 was raided on at least two other occasions — on Aug. 10, 2017, at the Kamehameha Avenue location and on July 20, 2012, at the Manono Street location, when it was known as 777 Arcade.
According to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website, Triple 7 was owned by LY20 LLC, whose members include the Yamadas, plus Richard Yamada, Roy Horihata and the Fujimotos.
Waiakea Games and Things was the subject of a Jan. 18, 2017, raid. Haraguchi, Whiting-Haraguchi and Lance Yamada were listed in business entities involved with the arcade, according to DCCA.
Lance Yamada has a lawsuit pending against Roth and Police Chief Paul Ferreira filed last year that seeks relief from searches and seizures. Former Police Chief Harry Kubojiri also was sued but has been dropped as a defendant.
Court records also indicate Yamada and Haraguchi prevailed in a forfeiture case brought by the state in 2017 involving more than $109,000, including almost $61,600 in cash. Records also indicate an appeal filed by Roth was dismissed by the Intermediate Court of Appeals, which claimed lack of appellate jurisdiction, in April 2018.
Reel Fun Amusements also was the subject of a March 2, 2012, raid, when the arcade was located at 288 Kilauea Ave.
Cabal, and his wife, Ruth, were arrested as a result.
A Kona gaming room also owned by Cabal was raided the same day, and Cabal and an employee, Aaron Hiraishi, were arrested.
Sergio Cabal pleaded guilty June 24, 2014, to five misdemeanor gambling charges and fined $2,000. Kona District Judge Diana Van De Car granted Cabal’s request for a deferral of his plea, and his conviction was erased May 26, 2015, according to court records.
Court records state Ruth Cabal pleaded guilty June 26, 2014, to two misdemeanor gambling charges and fined $500. Van De Car also granted her a plea deferral, and the conviction was erased June 10, 2015.
Hiraishi pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor gambling charges June 26, 2014, and also was fined $500. Van De Car granted his plea deferral, as well, and his conviction was erased May 22, 2015.
Roth didn’t respond to a request for comment by deadline Friday.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald