Wednesday, November 25, 2015         

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Traffic arrest briefly jails veteran criminal

By Gregg K. Kakesako


Notorious organized crime figure John Kalani Lincoln spent Halloween night in jail after his arrest on warrants for three misdemeanor traffic violations.

Lincoln once described himself to the FBI as "an enforcer" for organized crime figures in Hawaii. He was released last year from federal prison after serving more than 11 years on drug and gun charges.

Police records show Lincoln, 65, was arrested at 1719 Nuuanu Ave. at 9 p.m. He had been cited for driving without no-fault auto insurance and a current safety sticker, and not using a booster seat for a child passenger, prosecutors said.

He posted $875 bail yesterday morning and was released.

Lincoln was issued contempt-of-court citations for failing to appear and answer to the traffic citations. He missed court on two occasions: Aug. 2 and Sept. 27.

Lincoln has a long criminal history.

In 1968 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years.

He was acquitted of a 1978 double murder for hire on Maui in 1992 after his third trial. He had been found guilty twice before for the gangland-style killing of two men and severely wounding a woman -- but retrials were ordered after two appeals.

In his second trial, Anthony Kekona Jr., who was convicted in the murders, refused to testify against Lincoln. He told jurors in a previous trial that Lincoln hired him for the murders.

Lincoln was sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison in 1994 after pleading guilty to federal charges of possessing and distributing crystal methamphetamine and having loaded firearms on three occasions in 1992 and 1993.

He was released in April 2009 after serving a five-year term for violating the conditions of his supervisory release in June 2004.

He was arrested in December 2004 and given the five-year sentence after testing positive for morphine, methamphetamine and codeine, and associating with known felons.

Before that sentence, Lincoln served 13 years in state prison for the 1978 double slaying on Maui before he was acquitted in 1992.

In 1994 an FBI agent testified in federal court that Lincoln also claimed to have extorted money for a defense fund for Charlie Stevens, an organized crime figure who died in 1999 while serving a 20-year federal sentence in Pennsylvania.

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