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Honolulu ex-prosecutor’s brother pleads guilty to one charge before drug trial

                                Dr. Rudolph “Rudy” Puana was seen in a 2015 video interview.
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Dr. Rudolph “Rudy” Puana was seen in a 2015 video interview.

The pain physician brother of a former Honolulu prosecutor imprisoned in a corruption case pleaded guilty to one charge in an indictment alleging the doctor prescribed drugs to friends so they could sell them for cash.

Rudolph Puana’s drug-dealing trial on 53 other counts began today with jury selection. The other charges include conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and health care fraud.

He admitted committing only the last charge in the indictment: being an addict in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors say Puana prescribed oxycodone to his friends so that they could sell the pills for cash. They said some of the sales funded cocaine parties with him. Puana “strongly disputes the allegations,” his attorney has said.

Puana’s sister, Katherine Kealoha, pleaded guilty in 2019 to using her position as a deputy prosecutor in Honolulu to protect him from a drug-dealing investigation. She entered the plea after a jury found her and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, guilty of conspiracy in a separate case alleging they plotted to frame a relative to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle.

Katherine Kealoha is expected to testify against her brother at his trial.

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