A former Honolulu police officer has pleaded guilty to shaking down two local businessmen.
Thirty-eight year-old Roddy Tsunezumi admitted to extorting money from the owners of a Honolulu bar with the help of an accomplice.
"They took advantage of a pre-existing threat and they augmented it and they bolstered it,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson.
“And then, they basically brought in a protection service or offered to sell the protection service from the threat they were creating.”
Court records show that Tsunezumi and Jeremy Javillo offered to provide protection services to the bar owners for $15,000.
Tsunezumi and Javillo then attempted to pressure the businessmen by buying disposable cell phones and sending threatening text messages to the men.
The ex-cop faces up to 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. He resigned from the HPD after the federal investigation began.
"He's experiencing anxiety from the charges as any normal person would," said Megan Kau, Tsunezumi's attorney.
In a plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to drop charges of altering the VIN numbers of stolen cars.
Javillo is expected to plead guilty to extortion on Thursday. Tsunezumi's sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 5th.
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