Katherine Kealoha, brother released after pleading not guilty in drug case
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Katherine Kealoha, brother released after pleading not guilty in drug case

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Katherine Kealoha, husband Louis Kealoha walk along Halekauwila Street toward the Federal Courthouse today.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / March 2018

    Former city deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha is facing new charges related to drug distribution and consipracy.

A federal judge ordered the continued release on bond today of former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and release on bond of her brother Rudolph Puana pending their trial for conspiracy and drug distribution.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi scheduled the trial for April, but it’s likely to get postponed. Kealoha is scheduled to be in the middle of another trial with her husband, retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and three former members of HPD’s Criminal Intelligence Unit on charges accusing them of framing a Kealoha relative of stealing the Kealohas’ mailbox and of lying to investigators.

Puglisi said Kealoha can remain free on the same $100,000 signature bond he had ordered for her in the mailbox case, but added new conditions. He restricted her travel to the island of Oahu and ordered her to undergo drug testing.

Puana had been in custody since his arrest Monday on the Big Island. Puglisi ordered Puana released into the custody of his of his wife on $50,000 bond, half of which must be secured with cash.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment last Thursday charging Puana, an anesthesiologist and pain doctor, with prescribing two powerful pain medications and an anti-anxiety drug to patients outside the scope of professional conduct. He is accused of instructing three of the patients to sell or trade the drugs for cocaine to give to him.

The indictment says Puana gave some of the drugs to his sister, who then distributed them to two other people. It also accuses Kealoha of covering up her brother’s involvement in illegal drug distribution involving the three patients and others after law enforcement found out about it.

The government had asked Puglisi to order Puana held in custody without bail and to impose a cash or security requirement for Kealoha’s bond.

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