Judge denies bail for death row exoneree who allegedly sought to build prostitution empire
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang denied bail Wednesday for the accused pimp who federal prosecutors describe as violent and intimidating.
Isaiah McCoy is charged with sex trafficking by force.
Wearing a white, inmate jumpsuit and a belly chain, McCoy did not speak in court, allowing his assistant federal public defender Max Mizono to argue that McCoy is not a danger to the community or a flight risk.
McCoy's wife, Army Sgt. Tawana Roberts, also remains at the federal detention center. Her bond hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24.
The couple was arrested on Jan. 3 by police in an undercover prostitution sting at a Waikiki hotel.
One of the pieces of evidence being used against the couple, a Facebook Live video posted two months ago, in which Roberts and McCoy are in a hot tub.
McCoy jokingly asks as he grabs his wife, "How much is this going to cost me?"
Roberts responds: "You already know the going rate for me ... five stacks." That's slang for $5,000.
But, according to HPD documents obtained by Hawaii News Now, Roberts agreed to take $500 from an undercover officer in exchange for sex acts.
The day after the two were arrested by HPD, a federal grand jury indicted them in the expansive human trafficking case.
McCoy has been in Hawaii less than a year after he was released from Delaware's death row.
He married Roberts a few months ago. She is a food service specialist at Schofield Barracks.
McCoy is not allowed on post because of prior convictions for burglary, robbery and drug crimes.
In September, the couple spoke to Hawaii News Now after McCoy was arrested for a traffic warrant.
He was with close friend, Jordan Smith, also from Delaware.
Smith was charged with murder after a deadly Waikiki shooting.
In another Facebook Live video from just days before that September killing, Smith is seen in the backseat of a car smoking what appears to be pot with a gun in his lap. McCoy is in the front seat using derogatory words and detailing their alleged prostitution ring.
That video is considered evidence for federal prosecutors who say McCoy is part of the mainland gang knows as the 'Bloods', something McCoy's attorney denied. But in the September interview with Hawaii News Now, McCoy admits to that lifestyle adding that he is reformed.
"The thing that people don't understand is this, you remain who you are, you just add more things to you. Once you're something, you're that," McCoy says, "Am I no longer a gangster? I'm still a gangster. But that's no longer something I have to move on. Now, I'm an activist also."
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