Prosecutors push to have alleged West Oahu criminal ringleader detained as he awaits trial

An alleged West Oahu gang leader appeared in Federal Court on Friday morning. He's accused of running illegal gambling and chicken fight operations in Waianae.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 5:17 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 5:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An alleged West Oahu gang leader appeared in federal court Friday morning.

Federal prosecutors describe Edward Caspino as the ringleader of a major criminal operation in Waianae.

He and five co-defendants are accused of overseeing large-scale chicken fights — also known as derbies — from June 2020 to this past spring.

One of those events Caspino is said to have organized erupted in gunfire and left two people dead.

The 46-year-old Caspino appeared in federal court Friday morning as prosecutors are trying to have him detained through his January trial.

They cite a number of factors, including Caspino’s lengthy criminal history with five prior felony convictions and current charges of meth distribution.

Waianae chicken fight organizers plead not guilty to federal charges

In court documents, he’s also described as a danger to the community.

Surveillance video captures him allegedly assaulting a man at a previous Waianae residence and prosecutors say he has access to firearms, which is illegal given his status as a convicted felon.

In their motion to detain, prosecutors also laid out evidence implying Caspino may intend to tamper with or intimidate a potential witness.

During transport to court earlier this week, he indicated he may know someone cooperating with the government’s case and told a federal agent quote, “you’re going to need (him/her) to testify, huh. if you can find (him /her).”

Caspino is also considered a serious flight risk with access to thousands of dollars in cash.

A detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.