Elderly Hilo doctor accused of drug trafficking hospitalized, workers out on bond

Dr. Ernest Bade taken to hospital ahead of court appearance

Elderly Hilo doctor accused of drug trafficking hospitalized, workers out on bond
Dr. Ernest Bade and four employees were arrested for alleged drug trafficking in a raid by federal agents. The women, Yvonne Caitano, Sheena Strong, Marie Benevides and Theresa Saltus are accused of flying to other islands to fill Dr. Bade's prescriptions for opioids when Hilo pharmacies cut him off. (Kawano, Lynn)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dr. Ernest Bade was taken to the hospital for treatment while being held at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu.

The 80-year-old was being held after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency arrested him at his Hilo clinic Tuesday.

Four of his office workers were also arrested. They were granted bond Thursday and used manilla envelopes to shield their faces from our cameras.

The women who work at a Hilo medical clinic were freed on bond Thursday.
The women who work at a Hilo medical clinic were freed on bond Thursday. (Hawaii News Now)

The office workers are 80-year-old Marie Benevides, 59-year-old Theresa Saltus, 54-year-old Yvonne Caitano, and 32-year-old Sheena Strong,

As Hawaii News Now first reported, the five are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances after a federal investigation that started more than three years ago.

The DEA accused them of prescribing painkillers without doing proper exams, traveling to Maui to fill prescriptions after Hilo pharmacies cut them off, and selling the powerful medication for cash.

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