Federal prosecutors today unsealed a new indictment against former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, accusing her of being involved in a drug-distribution conspiracy with her brother.
The indictment, which a grand jury returned Thursday, accuses Kealoha of conspiring with her physician brother Rudolph Puana and others to improperly distribute prescription pain and anti-anxiety drugs. It also accuses Kealoha of covering up the conspiracy when a detective with the Honolulu Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit discovered information about it and told her.
Kealoha, her husband, former Honolulu police Chief Louis Kealoha, and three former CIU members are scheduled to stand trial in federal court next month on charges accusing them of framing a Kealoha relative with stealing the Kealohas’ mailbox and then lying about it to investigators.
The Kealohas are also scheduled to stand trial in June on charges accusing them of lying on loan applications, including the one on their Hawaii Kai home.
The indictment alleges Puana, an anesthesiologist and pain doctor, advised one co-conspirator to use proceeds from the sale of illegal prescription pain medication to buy cocaine for the two of them. They would also “sell and barter” medication in exchange for cocaine, the indictment said.
When a police officer notified Kealoha that her brother and a co-conspirator were buying and using cocaine, she “arranged to have herself assigned as the prosecutor” of the investigation, the indictment said. That allowed her to “steer law enforcement scrutiny away from her brother’s felonious conduct in that drug conspiracy,” the indictment said.
She then gave favorable plea deals to others involved “to reduce the likelihood they would reveal that her brother had distributed controlled substances,” the document says.
Puana is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.