Alleged boss of multi-decade criminal enterprise faces trial

HONOLULU, HI – A high-profile Honolulu businessman, Michael Miske Jr., is in the eye of a legal storm, accused of spearheading an extensive criminal conspiracy, prosecutors reveal. The charges range from directing drug money through dummy corporations to masterminding the brutal torture and murder of his late son’s closest friend in a twisted plot of revenge.

The federal trial for Miske, who is charged with racketeering, kicked off with jury selection on Monday. The trial is anticipated to feature testimonies from several co-defendants who have agreed to plea bargains and over 900 witnesses. Miske, 48, stands accused of a litany of crimes, including murder, kidnapping, assault, racketeering, bank fraud, the use of a chemical weapon, and cocaine distribution. Potential jurors have already voiced fears about their personal safety and that of their families.

The indictment refers to Miske’s alleged criminal operation as the “Miske Enterprise,” which he purportedly ran from the late 1990s up until his July 2020 arrest. His arrest was linked to the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Jonathan Fraser, a close friend of Miske’s deceased son, Caleb.

Fraser’s girlfriend reported him missing to the Honolulu Police Department on July 30, 2016. Miske’s name quickly surfaced in the investigation due to his openly expressed grudge against Fraser, whom he blamed for Caleb’s fatal car crash in November 2015. Despite police reports stating that Caleb was driving at the time of the accident, Miske insisted that Fraser was at fault.

Following Fraser’s disappearance, the extent of Miske’s alleged criminal activities started to become apparent. A raid on Miske’s home in July 2020 provided no clues about Fraser’s whereabouts, but it led to the indictment of Miske and 10 co-defendants. Miske has owned a variety of businesses, including contracting, auto, and fishing companies, since the 1990s. His extermination business, Kama’aina Termite & Pest Control, was a common sight in Oahu advertisements.

However, the pest control offices were allegedly more than they appeared, serving as a base for criminal activities, money laundering, and fraudulent employment of individuals involved in acts of violence or fraud on behalf of the Miske Enterprise. The group is said to have used guns, multiple cellphones, encoded communication apps, and in-person meetings to avoid detection for decades.

Although Miske is charged with murder in Fraser’s disappearance, Fraser’s body remains missing. James Borling-Salas, an associate of several members of the enterprise, gave a harrowing account of Fraser’s last moments to FBI agents, claiming to have witnessed Fraser’s torture and murder, with the horrific events being recorded on video.