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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 4, 2002

Two police dispatchers plead no contest in gambling case

By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer

Five people, including two civilian police department dispatchers, who were arrested last fall following a gambling raid on a Waimalu home pleaded guilty or no contest to the charges against them in Circuit Court yesterday.

Pleading no contest to charges of first-degree promotion of gambling, a felony, were dispatchers James Ward and Trisha Takayesu.

Pleading guilty to first-degree promotion of gambling were restaurant worker Ray Takeshita, and public opinion research company employee Romeo Marzan Jr.

Pleading guilty to five counts of second-degree promotion of gambling, a misdemeanor, was Iris Takeshita, also a restaurant worker.

City Deputy Prosecutor Randal Lee, who handled the case, described the gambling operation as low-key and said it was "noteworthy only in that two police department employees were involved."

He said he will not ask for any jail time when the five are scheduled to return to court July 8, but said he will seek fines of $1,500 to $5,000 from each of them.

The five were arrested Sept. 28 after police searched a home on Ualo Street and found people gambling, gambling machines and cash.

Police reported finding a craps table, two video slot machines and another small gambling device, and confiscated about $2,600 in cash.

The dispatchers have been reassigned to non-dispatching duties, police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said in March. Ward has served 14 years in the department, while Takayesu has served for six, Yu said.

Police said at the time of the arrests that there was no evidence that other HPD employees were involved or that the two dispatchers engaged in the alleged illegal activity during work time, or did so on city property. Nor was there any indication the police dispatchers were privy to inside information that might have helped them avoid being caught, police said.