Honolulu Police Lt. Derek Hahn was released on a $50,000 signature bond this afternoon several hours after being arrested by FBI agents in connection with the federal investigation of retired HPD Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine.
Hahn was the third current or former HPD officer arrested this week in what prosecutors say was a criminal conspiracy involving police officers to frame Gerard Puana, the uncle of Katherine Kealoha, in June 2013.
An HPD spokeswoman said Hahn is a 20-year veteran of the force assigned to the Communications Division. He will be placed on leave without pay pending investigation, she said.
During today’s proceedings before Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi, attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to impose a higher bond amount for Hahn.
Hahn, 46, was a lieutenant in HPD’s Criminal Intelligence Unit at the time it investigated the alleged theft of the Kealohas’ mailbox from in front of their Kahala home.
Court records submitted by the FBI indicated Hahn ordered an underling to not place a hard drive retrieved from the home into evidence, and then later instructed him to place into evidence only excised portions of data recovered from the hard drive.
Niall Silva, the man who allegedly was the officer instructed by Hahn, pleaded guilty last year to contributing to the conspiracy in a deal with federal prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation.
Silva said under oath that he and others participated in the conspiracy in an effort to discredit Puana. At the time, Puana and his mother were embroiled in a family legal dispute in which they claimed that Katherine Kealoha had stolen $150,000 from them in connection with a reverse mortgage.
On Monday, Officer Ming Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, 43, was charged with conspiring with others to alter or falsify records, obstruct an official proceeding and make a false statement. Retired Maj. Gordon Shiraishi, 61, was charged with obstructing an official proceeding.
The two men were arrested by FBI agents Sunday. They were also in the Criminal Intelligence Unit in June 2013.
The Kealohas and Nguyen all identified Puana as the suspect in a video of the mailbox theft, a court document said.
Nguyen and Shiraishi were released from federal custody after posting $50,000 signature bonds Monday, a day after FBI agents arrested them.
Preliminary hearings for Nguyen and Shiraishi are scheduled for Nov. 1.