The Maui County prosecutor's office is declining prosecution of nine people who were arrested on suspicion of gambling offenses when police vice officers executed search warrants at a Wailuku residence last month.
"In the interests of justice, we decided not to pursue those cases," said Deputy Prosecutor Byron Fujieda, who is District Court supervisor for the office. "Based on the investigation that was done, we didn't have enough evidence to pursue those cases."
Police executed search warrants the night of Aug. 16 at the residence on Kaikai Street. Khanhnha Vanhtha, 35, who lives at the residence, was arrested along with Justin Chock, 21, of Wailuku; Lyle Richards, 51, of Kula; Scott Rosario, 42, of Waikapu; Cary Rosario, 42, of Waikapu; David Yokoyama, 24, of Kahului; Gavin Petrie, 45, of Haiku; Thomas Borges, 52, of Kihei; and Clyde Imai, 59, of Kihei.
Fujieda said most of those arrested were notified that the prosecutor's office was declining prosecution when they appeared for arraignments in Wailuku District Court on Tuesday. He said the others will be notified when they appear for their arraignments.
Said defense attorney William Sloper, representing Chock, "We are disappointed that the Maui Police Department targets legal poker games."