Federal authorities: Katherine Kealoha used cocaine while she was deputy city prosecutor

Federal authorities: Katherine Kealoha used cocaine while she was deputy city prosecutor
Former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her husband, Louis, walk into the federal courthouse. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Katherine Kealoha used cocaine while serving in the city Prosecutor’s Office, where she oversaw the career criminal unit, newly-filed court documents allege.

In an application for a search warrant filed Thursday ― complete with text messaging strings users sent while apparently high ― authorities said Kealoha used the drug while spending time with other drug users and distributors.

An FBI agent alleges in the filing that Kealoha’s brother, Dr. Rudy Puana, told investigators about his sister’s drug use and also divulged that he had sold guns while he was addicted to drugs.

The new filings stem from the third and latest indictment against Kealoha, in which she and her brother are linked to 54 counts of drug-related and other charges as part of an alleged drug distribution ring.

[Special Section: The Case Against the Kealohas]

In that indictment, federal authorities allege Kealoha had used her office to protect Puana and the other members of an alleged drug ring from prosecution.

The new allegations are the latest shocking twist in a sprawling federal investigation that has rocked Hawaii’s law enforcement community. Also charged in connection with the probe: Kealoha’s husband, former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and several police officers. Meanwhile, city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is also the target of a federal investigation.

Kealoha has pleaded not guilty to the allegations in all three indictments ― and her attorney has complained that prosecutors are releasing damaging information that will make it difficult for Kealoha to get a fair trial.

Kealoha’s first trial, on charges of financial fraud, is scheduled to begin next month.

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