HONOLULU – United States District Judge Derrick K. Watson today sentenced Roddy Takao Tsunezumi, age 38, a former Honolulu Police Department (HPD) officer, to 33 months in prison. Tsunezumi pled guilty in July 2014 to interfering with commerce by threats in an extortion scheme aimed at a local Honolulu business.
Florence T. Nakakuni, U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to information produced to the court, Tsunezumi joined with codefendant Jeremy Javillo to extort $15,000 from a local Honolulu business by attempting to convince the owners that they would be kidnapped and/or robbed if they did not hire a protection business offered by Javillo. The owners of the business had reported an apparent legitimate threat they received to Tsunezuni in his role as an HPD officer. Instead of properly investigating or referring the threat through normal police channels, Tsunezumi arranged for one of the owners to meet with his associate, Javillo, who Tsunezumi told them could arrange protection for them. In order to coerce the owners to employ this protection service, a series of threatening text messages were then sent anonymously to the business owners.
Javillo, who also pled guilty, is expected to be sentenced tomorrow by Judge Watson.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson.