FBI Backgrounder on Michael Miske filed in Support of a Search Warrant Application
filed under seal Nov 12, 2015 Mag. No. 15-01345 KSC
Unsealed Nov 17, 2022 as a result of case# 1:22-mc-00286-DKW-KJM
(excerpts from pgs 5-29)
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Confidential Informants (CIs)
6. CI#1 was a commercial fishing boat captain who agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily became a confidential informant for the FBI in November 2013. CI#1 was not paid for his information, and he does not have a criminal record. CI#1 provided details pertaining to MISKE's commercial fishing vessels and drug trafficking.
7. CI#2 was a Honolulu-based bookie prior to being charged with federal gambling violations. CI#2 agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily became a confidential informant. CI#2 was well-connected within Hawaii criminal organizations, and he has provided valuable information that was frequently corroborated through investigation and information provided by other sources. CI#2 provided details pertaining to MISKE's commercial fishing vessels and drug trafficking.
8. CI#3 grew up in Hawaii, and he socialized with friends and associates of MISKE. CI#3 agreed to cooperate with ongoing investigations and voluntarily became a confidential informant in 2012. CI#3 has provided valuable information that was frequently corroborated through investigation and information provided by other sources. CI#3 provided details pertaining to MISKE's businesses and associates.
9. CI#4 had known MISKE for many years; CI#4 and MISKE were both involved in the distribution of narcotics at the same time in Hawaii. CI#4 agreed to cooperate with ongoing investigations and voluntarily became a confidential informant. CI#4 has a criminal record, to include drug trafficking charges. CI#4 has not been paid for information, and some of his information has been corroborated through investigation and information provided by other sources. CI#4 provided details pertaining to MISKE's associates and drug trafficking.
10. CI#5 was a Honolulu businessman who ran a large pest-control business. CI#5 agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily became a confidential informant for the FBI in 2015. CI#5 does not have a criminal record, and he has not been paid for information. CI#5 provided details pertaining to MISKE's businesses.
11. CI#6 was the operations manager for MISKE for approximately 10 years. CI#6 agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily became a confidential informant for the FBI in 2015. CI#6 does not have a criminal record, and he has not been paid for information. CI#6 provided details pertaining to MISKE's businesses and associates.
12. Your affiant requests to keep the referenced CIs' names' confidential due to their cooperation in this ongoing investigation. Your affiant believes the disclosure of the CIs' names' would jeopardize the investigation and potentially the CIs' safety.
Cooperating Witnesses (CWs)
13. CW#1 was briefly employed by MISKE in 2014. CW#1 had direct contact with MISKE and observed the day-to-day operations at MISKE's businesses. CW# 1 agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily provided information to the FBI. CW# 1 was not paid for information, and he provided details pertaining to MISKE's businesses.
14. CW#2 lived in Honolulu, Hawaii, and he was a client of MISKE's business in 2015. CW#2 agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily provided information to the FBI. CW#2 was not paid for information, and he provided details pertaining to MISKE's businesses.
15. CW#3 was a federal government employee who lived adjacent to one of MISKE's investment properties; CW#3 had direct interactions with MISKE. CW#3 agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily provided information to the FBI. CW#3 was not paid for information, and he provided details pertaining to MISKE.
16. CW#4 was previously stationed in Hawaii with the US Navy. CW#4 was assaulted by MISKE at MISKE's nightclub. CW#4 agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and voluntarily provided information to the FBI. CW#4 was not paid for information, and he provided details pertaining to MISKE and MISKE's associates.
17. Your affiant requests to keep the referenced CW s' names' confidential due to their cooperation in this ongoing investigation. Your affiant believes the disclosure of the CWs' names' would jeopardize the investigation and potentially the CWs' safety.
BACKGROUND ON MICHAEL MISKE
18. For more than ten years, FBI Honolulu has received information from various Cooperating Witnesses (CWs), Confidential Informants (Cis) and law enforcement partners that Michael MISKE was involved in drug trafficking, gambling, extortion and that MISKE utilized multiple Hawaii businesses to launder money. Based on the information provided, FBI Honolulu opened an investigation into the alleged criminal activity of Michael MISKE. By way of background, Michael MISKE, his arrest record and his numerous businesses are identified below:
Name: Michael John Miske, Jr.
Date of Birth: 15 February 1974
6/9/2013 - Excess Speeding
5/24/2013 - Assault 2, Criminal Property Damage 2
1/30/2013- Assault 2
11/7/2005- Abuse Family
6/25/2000 - Violate Protection Order
6/23/1995- Assault 1, Speeding, Kidnapping
4/28/1995- Fraudulent Use of Credit Card, Theft 3; Theft 2
2/1/1994- Theft 2
MISKE's Active Businesses:
1. Palekaiko Beachboys Club, Inc.
2. Kama'aina Termite and Pest Control, Inc.
3. Kama'aina Plumbing Company LLC
4. Certified Termite & Pest Management LLC
5. Certified Pest Management, Inc.
6. Hawaii Partners LLC
7. Kama'aina Solar Solutions LLC
8. Kamaaina Capital LLC
MISKE's Inactive Businesses:
1. The Tint Shop Incorporated
2. Pestco Group Inc.
3. The Tint Shop and Safety Films LLC
4. Kama'aina Termite, Kona LLC
5. Kama'aina Rolloffs LLC
6. Leverage Entertainment LLC
7. North Shore Juice LLC
MISKE's Dealing in Controlled Substances
19. On November 7, 2013, CI#1 reported that MISKE was a "dangerous guy" who owned M Nightclub as well as a commercial long-line Fishing Vessel (FV) named Rachel. MISKE utilized FV Rachel and another vessel, FV Kraken, to transport Methamphetamine into Hawaii. Sometime in August, 2013, FV Rachel transported Methamphetamine from California to Hawaii. Approximately 40 miles off the coast of Hawaii, FV Rachel attached a large amount of Methamphetamine to a Radio Frequency (RF) buoy and dropped the drugs into the ocean. Later, other unidentified FVs used the RF transmissions to locate the Methamphetamine and transport the drugs into Hawaii. On November 13, 2013, CI# 1 reported that [REDACTED] was a good friend of MISKE' s who does MISKE's "dirty work" (CI#1 further clarified "dirty work" to mean illegal activity). [REDACTED]. On December 10, 2013, CI# 1 reported that FV Kraken was recently boarded by law enforcement personnel and all of the "fish compound" was seized. In addition, vehicle was searched, and a gun was seized.
20. On April 27, 2014, CI#2 reported that MISKE's FV Rachel had recently traveled to California for the sole purpose of picking-up a dog. When FV Rachel returned to Honolulu, Hawaii, the crew did not off-load any fish. CI#2 questioned why anyone would spend so much money on diesel to bring a dog on a FV from California rather than paying significantly less money to transport a dog on a plane. CI#2 advised MISKE ran his commercial fishing operation like a "gangsta" rather than a typical FV owner.
21. On March 4, 2015, CI#3 reported that MISKE, the owner of M Nightclub and Kama'aina Termite and Pest Control (KTPC), approached CI#3 and requested CI#3 assist MISKE register FV Rachel under a name disassociated with MISKE. MISKE advised there was too much attention from the Coast Guard on his boat while it remained registered to MISKE. MISKE stated he had already registered M Nightclub under someone else's name to avoid law enforcement attention. At the time, MISKE would not provide CI#3 with MISKE's contact infon11ation; MISKE instructed CI#3 to contact his partner, Jason YOKOYAMA, and YOKOYAMA would notify MISKE.
22. On May 24, 2015, CI#4 reported that Wayne MILLER was MISKE's "number one guy" who was in charge of MISKE's drug distribution network, and [REDACTED] was MISKE's "number two."
23. On September 8, 2015, your affiant obtained Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The VMS data contained historical location information pertaining to FV associated with MISKE, including FV Rachel and FV Kraken. Your affiant reviewed the VMS information in an effort to corroborate the information previously provided by CI# 1 and CI#2. Upon review of the VMS data, it appeared that FV Rachel left its' port in Honolulu, Hawaii on approximately July 15, 2013. FV Rachel traveled directly to Ventura, California where she stayed in port for three days before returning to Honolulu, Hawaii where she arrived on August 26, 2013.
24. On October 10, 2014, CW#1 reported that MISKE owned the following businesses:
a. Kama'aina Termite and Pest Control (KTPC)
b. Kama'aina Plumbing (KP)
c. Kama'aina Solar (KS)
d. M Nightclub
f. Commercial fishing operations
According to CW#1, KTPC was MISKE's primary business; KTPC had approximately three trucks used to provide fumigation services to residential and commercial customers. MISKE complained that fumigations were not very profitable. KP was operated by a relative of MISKE; the company only had a few employees, and they did not handle many projects. KS was also a small, unprofitable business. M Nightclub was in an expensive location, yet the crowds were small, and CW# 1 estimated the bar was not able to generate significant profit. MISKE owned a commercial fishing operation utilizing FV Rachel. While MISKE likely spent about $1,000,000 on Rachel, MISKE had no personal interest or experience in the fishing industry. MISKE appeared to have a significant amount of money. MISKE owned various properties, and he was building a large ocean-front house in Portlock, Hawaii. MISKE had multiple luxury vehicles stored in his warehouses, and he was able to lease expensive business locations. CW# 1 had previously been a bar-owner and commercial fisherman. Based on CW# 1's business experience, CW# 1 determined MISKE must have an illegitimate means of income to support his expensive lifestyle. CW# 1 reported that KTPC and MISKE's other business could not generate as much money as MISKE spends.
25. On March 19, 2015, CI#5 reported that MISKE owned KTPC. KTPC was primarily a termite fumigation business. Due to the poison gas (Vikane) that was used for fumigations, MISKE was required to comply with a number of regulations pertaining to the use and transportation of Vikane. MISKE appeared to violate numerous regulations, and CI#5 did not know how MISKE was able to pass State inspections. Based on CI#5's experience, it would be unlikely that a fumigation business could generate more than 10 percent profit annually. CI#5 estimated KTPC's annual gross sales to be approximately $2.5 million allowing a maximum of $250,000 profit. In addition to standard operating expenses, MISKE paid his employees significantly higher wages than his competitors, he purchased expensive company vehicles and he paid for costly and frequent advertisement. Yet, MISKE drove exotic cars, purchased expensive real estate and maintained an overall "flashy lifestyle." Based on the size of KTPC and the manner in which MISKE operated the business, CI#5 reported MISKE's apparent profit was "impossible." Thus, CI#5 stated that MISKE must have a source of significant income other than KTPC.
Miske's Interference of Commerce by Threats or Violence
26. On March 19, 2015, CI#5 reported that approximately 10 years ago, MISKE tried to publicly intimidate and threaten CI#5 at the Honolulu, Costco in an attempt to stop CI#5 from competing against MISKE in the fumigation business. MISKE stated he heard CI#5 was "talking trash about [KTPC]." MISKE continued to berate CI#5 until nearby security guards contacted the Honolulu Police Department for assistance. MISKE warned CI#5 to stop competing for KTPC's business or MISKE would "slash CI#5's tents." MISKE also threatened that he knew where CI#5 lived. Later that night, one of fumigation tents was slashed. CI#5 reported that MISKE, or MISKE's "guys", continued to slash CI#5 's tents until they caused about $50,000 in damage. In addition to the property damage caused by MISKE, one of the slashed tents had been on a zero-lot-line residence in Kailua, Hawaii. When the tent was slashed, the Vikane gas leaked into the residence next door and two females had to go to the hospital after breathing the poison gas. In addition to CI#5, MISKE was known to use threats and violence against numerous other competitors. CI#5 recalled a time when MISKE discovered that a Terminix (national pest control company) salesman (T1-1) was showing potential clients negative reviews of KTPC. MISKE contacted T1 and pretended he was a homeowner looking to purchase Terminix services. When T1 arrived at the residence specified by MISKE, two of MISKE's guys pulled T1 into the residence and brutally beat him. (See footnote below)
27. On May 19, 2015, CW#2 reported that he recently hired KTPC to fumigate his van. Following the fumigation services, KTPC was unclear about the pesticides utilized during treatment of the van. CW#2 questioned KTPC and demanded a letter clarifying the chemicals used; CW#2 also notified KTPC he was considering speaking to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about KTPC's business practices. MISKE, the owner of KTPC, contacted CW#2 by phone and stated, "Listen white boy, you're not fucking from Hawaii. I'll take care of you and your van right now." MISKE continued by threatening he would "beat the shit out of you [CW#2] right now." MISKE called CW#2 a second time and asked, "Do you want to disappear in Hawaii? It's not like the mainland; things happen here."
28. On May 20, 2015, CW#3 reported that approximately five years ago, CW#3 was renovating his residence which adjoined an investment property owned by MISKE. MISKE was the owner of KTPC, and CW#3 frequently saw KTPC trucks parked in the driveway next door. One day, MISKE noticed that CW#3 had placed construction waste near the street to await trash pick-up. MISKE was angry that the trash was near MISKE's property line. MISKE approached CW#3 and asked, "Do you know who I am?" MISKE demanded CW#3 move the trash and threatened CW#3 by stating, "If you don't move it, I have guys who will make it nasty for you." CW#3 recalled MISKE's demeanor and actions to be "thug-like."
29. On September 29, 2015, CI#6 reported that MISKE utilized a group of guys to provide "muscle" (your affiant further understands the term "muscle" to mean individuals used for protection, extortion and violence). CI#6 identified some of MISKE's muscle to be [REDACTED] , John STANCIL,[REDACTED] , Mike BUNTENBAH and Wayne MILLER. MISKE also wanted to be armed with a handgun despite MISKE's felony criminal record. On multiple occasions, MISKE asked CI#6 to purchase a handgun for MISKE. CI#6 did not want to face charges for purchasing a weapon for a felon, so CI#6 refused to comply with MISKE's request. Despite CI#6's refusal, MISKE was able to obtain a handgun from another KTPC employee, [REDACTED].
30. On October 8, 2015, CI#6 reported that MISKE previously assaulted a Terminix salesman (Tl) for providing potential clients with bad reviews of KTPC. At a staff meeting one morning, CI#6 recalled Elton SANTOS (KTPC salesman) informed MISKE about Tl's sales tactic. MISKE was angry when he heard SANTOS' story, and he eventually discovered who Tl was. Several weeks later, CI#6 heard that MISKE and some of his "boys" located Tl and brutally beat him. CI#6 asked [REDACTED] and Andi KANEAKUA (KTPC employee) if Tl had been assaulted by MISKE. [REDACTED] confirmed Tl had been beaten for what he said about KTPC. [REDACTED] stated that Tl "won't be talking about KTPC anymore." CI#6 also recalled talking to one of MISKE's employees (E1) who assisted with MISKE's commercial fishing operation. E 1 told CI#6 that when MISKE heard a competing fishing operation was offering lower prices on fish, MISKE had his guys assault the competitor and force him to raise fish prices.
31. On October 9, 2015, CW#4 reported that he previously visited MISKE's club, M Nightclub in August 2012. Following an evening of food and drinks, CW#4 received a bill from the waitress that included an extra charge. CW#4 showed the error to the waitress and asked for a corrected bill. When MISKE heard about CW#4's request, MISKE sent seven or eight security personnel to CW#4's table. They pulled CW#4 from the table and escorted him to the rear of the club while repeatedly striking CW#4 in his side. CW#4 was placed in a chair across from MISKE while the security personnel stood by. MISKE demanded CW#4 pay the bill, "or else." CW#4 stated that he had already been physically assaulted, so he questioned if "or else" meant CW#4 would be killed. MISKE did not respond but continued to stare at CW#4. CW#4 took the bill and wrote "fuck security." MISKE observed what CW#4 wrote and proceeded to nod at his security personnel. The nod prompted the security personnel to begin assaulting CW#4 once again. CW#4 was able to escape by running outside the building. Eventually, another male who appeared to be an M Nightclub employee, was able to catch-up with CW#4 and punch CW#4 in the face. CW#4's tooth was knocked out by the punch, and CW#4 fell to the floor. Bystanders helped CW#4 escape, and he was transported to Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC). Due to the assault, CW#4 incurred $5,000 in medical costs, primarily to replace his tooth. CW#4 reported the incident to HPD and hired an attorney (JW) in an effort to recoup his medical expenses. Initially, JW sought to bring a civil case against MISKE and M Nightclub based on the assault of CW#4. Later, JW contacted CW#4 and explained he would no longer proceed with the civil case against MISKE. JW implied that MISKE was a dangerous individual engaged in organized crime. JW believed he would be in danger if he continued to represent victims of MISKE's violent actions, especially as JW resided on Oahu.
MISKE's Transmission of Wagering Information
32. On November 24, 2014, CI#3 reported that MISKE, the owner of M Nightclub owed $40,000 in gambling losses to a Honolulu bookie that MISKE refused to pay.
33. On June 29, 2015, CI#2 reported that was employed by MISKE. told CI#2 that he and MISKE's associate, Mike MALONE aka BUNTENBAH won a lot of money sports betting during football season. On October 10, 2015 CI#2 reported that contacted CI#2 and asked if CI#2 could take an $8,000 bet on the Patriots/Cowboys game the following day. advised the bet was on behalf of the "Kama'aina guy"; CI#2 understood was referring to MISKE, the owner of KTPC.
34. On October 8, 2015, CI#6 reported that MISKE and many of his associates were involved in gambling. MISKE would hold a meeting each morning at KTPC; during the meeting, MISKE and his employees would discuss sports bets. MISKE would complain about losing a $10,000 bet on a football game. SANTOS once used $10,000 cash he collected for a number of KTPC fumigation projects to place sports bets; SANTOS lost the bets and thus owed MISKE $10,000. eventually provided MISKE with $10,000 cash to cover SANTOS' loss. appeared to be the "house" through which MISKE, SANTOS and MISKE's other employees placed wagers. Cash pay-outs and collections were often conducted during KTPC meetings.
… (chart and details of cellphones used by Miske) ….
37. All of the phones referenced in the chart were used by MISKE, registered to alias names and had frequent contact with numbers subscribed to, or associated with, individuals reportedly involved in criminal activity. In addition, many of MISKE's most frequent telephonic contacts were consistently with individuals identified by CIs as those who do MISKE's "dirty work." Some of MISKE's frequent contacts were as follows:
• This number was subscribed to by Certified Pest Management, Inc., owned by Ryan TERAMOTO, and had frequent contact with the four cellular telephones used by MISKE. On January 6, 2003, the FBI charged TERAMOTO for possession with intent to distribute 997 grams of cocaine. The FBI interviewed TERAMOTO in May 2000 regarding his knowledge of Miske. Teramoto advised he was involved in drug trafficking with MISKE, and MISKE would purchase one half of a kilogram of Cocaine per transaction with TERAMOTO.
• These numbers were subscribed to by [REDACTED] and had frequent contact with the four cellular telephones used by MISKE. On [REDACTED], the FBI arrested [REDACTED] for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. While [REDACTED] was again charged with possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine [REDACTED]. [REDACTED]. As previously referenced, multiple Cis reported that [REDACTED] was used by MISKE for "muscle" and drug distribution.
• This number was subscribed to by [REDACTED], also known as [REDACTED], and had frequent contact with the four cellular telephones used by MISKE. According to CI#2, was involved in internet sport gambling and "won a lot of money" last football season with BUNTENBAH, a close associate of MISKE. also sought to place an $8,000 sports bet with CI#2 on behalf of MISKE.
• This number was subscribed to by Sara TUFELE; however, according to Cis, it is used by Wayne MILLER, a close associate of MISKE. This number also had frequent contact with the four cellular telephones used by MISKE. In June 2005, the FBI arrested MILLER for the December 2001 armed robbery of the Windward Federal Credit Union located in Hawaii. MILLER was sentenced to 84 months incarceration. As previously referenced, multiple Cls reported that MILLER was used by MISKE for "muscle" and drug distribution.
• This number was subscribed to by Capone's Ultimate Detail, Inc., owned by Michael VITOLO, and had frequent contact with three cellular telephones used by MISKE. VITOLO was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on August 8, 1997 for conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine. In addition, from 1982 to 1990, VITOLO was atTested in New York and New Jersey for various offenses including gambling, drugs, grand larceny, and criminal possession of a weapon. (808) 216-6795 and (808) 799-3229
• These numbers were subscribed to by Kama'aina Termite and Pest Control and Maydeen Stancil, respectively; however, law enforcement databases indicated the numbers were used by John STANCIL. These numbers had frequent contact with four cellular telephones used by MISKE. STANCIL, MISKE and BUNTENBAH were atTested for the assault of Trent WILLIAMS in January 2013. STANCIL and MISKE were again arrested in May 2013 for assaulting a customer at MISKE's M Nightclub in December 27 Case 1:15-mj-01345-KSC Document 1-1 *SEALED* Filed 11/12/15 Page 28 of 35 PageID.90 2012. According to CI rep01iing, STANCIL is used by MISKE for "muscle". (808) 723-0960
• This number is subscribed to by Defend, Inc., owned by Michael BUNTENBAH, and had frequent contact with two cellular telephones used by MISKE. According to criminal history records, BUNTENBAH, also known as Mike MALONE, was arrested by the DEA on drug charges. From 1994 to 2014, BUNTENBAH was anested multiple times for abuse of a family member and drunk driving. In addition, BUNTENBAH was arrested in January 2013 with MISKE and STANCIL for the assault of Trent WILLIAMS. According to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) and CI reporting, BUNTENBAH was used by MISKE for "muscle" and drug trafficking.
• According to law enforcement databases, this number was listed for [REDACTED] and was in contact with two cellular telephones used by MISKE. According to CI reporting, [REDACTED] was MISKE's "go to guy" who did MISKE's "dirty work." In March 2014, according to the US Coast Guard Investigative Service, [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] lengthy criminal record from August 1990 to July 2015 include 30 arrests for abuse of a family member, reckless driving, terroristic threatening, drunk driving, theft, criminal trespassing, and burglary.
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1 Law enforcement personnel have not yet been able to identify T1's identity or locate police reports pertaining to T1's assault.