A retired Honolulu police major and current officer are out on bond after being arrested as part of an alleged corruption investigation involving Honolulu’s former chief of police.
The FBI charged retired major Gordon Shiraishi for obstruction and current officer Bobby Nguyen for conspiracy, which federal authorities say involved obstruction, conspiring, and lying.
Both are tied to a scandal involving former chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a deputy prosecutor.
Shiraishi and Nguyen were arrested Sunday and appeared in court Monday.
They faced the judge in gray jumpsuits after spending the night in federal prison, and were released on $50,000 bond each.
Shiraishi is accused of felony obstruction (Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1512(c)) and Nguyen is accused of felony conspiracy. (Title 18, U.S.C., Section 371).
In the documents, KHON2 confirmed the following “co-conspirators” have been identified as:
CC1: Katherine Kealoha
CC2: Bobby Nguyen
CC3: Derek Hahn
CC5: Daniel Sellers
CC6: Louis Kealoha
Two attorneys who were in the courtroom tell us the arrests are an effort to get them to cooperate in the investigation.
Both are tied to the investigation and trial of Gerard Puana, Katherine Kealoaha’s uncle, who was accused of stealing the Kealoha’s mailbox back in 2013.
Court documents unsealed Monday accused Nguyen of lying to a postal inspector about who took a hard drive containing video surveillance from the Kealoha home.
The documents note officer Nguyen watched surveillance footage of the theft and identified Puana as the thief.
The FBI also says he conspired with detective Niall Silva to come up false testimony in the trial against Puana. That case ended with a mistrial.
In court Monday, the U.S. attorney told the judge “this defendant’s role is a mess” in comparison to defendant Shiraishi.
The U.S. attorney told the judge the retired major “perpetuated a fabricated timeline of events” involving the reported mailbox theft.
Shiraishi was head of HPD’s Criminal Intelligence Unit when the theft happened. He is accused of lying under oath to a federal grand jury tasked with investigating corruption allegations.
Myles Breiner represents the Kealohas, and Bill Harrison represents Silva. Both were in the courtroom today to watch the proceedings.
“There was no need to arrest them on a Sunday, except maybe to give them a taste of what it’s like to be in prison and hopefully intimidate them. I doubt that happened,” said Breiner.
“That’s the only thing that could have happened here. Mr. Wheat wanted to let these individuals know they have this information so if they want to cooperate and come forward like Mr. Silva, they could come forward,” said Harrison.
When asked if Silva keeps in touch with his former coworkers, Harrison said, there’s “no relationship whatsoever. He’s retired. He’s moved on with his life. He hopes to put this thing behind him.”
Breiner insists the Kealohas are innocent.
In a statement sent to KHON2 on Sunday, Louis Kealoha said:
“I am very saddened and disappointed to hear about the recent arrests of Bobby and Gordon. These two individuals are good men who have dedicated their lives to serving our Honolulu community. I know that when all of the evidence comes to light, they will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.”
Shiraishi and Nguyen are back in court on Oct. 25. Both must turn in their personal guns by Oct. 20.
Nguyen is currently on restricted duty, but will be placed on unpaid leave pending investigation.
So far, there have been three people charged in connection with the federal grand jury.
Silva was also charged with obstruction and is scheduled to be sentenced in February.
Four current or former officers have received target letters from the federal government, letting them know they are the target in an investigation.
Louis Kealoha also received a target letter. Katherine Kealoha has not received a target letter.