2nd Kealoha co-conspirator wants to put off prison pending appeal
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A second former Honolulu police officer convicted in the Kealoha public corruption scandal is asking the court to delay his self surrender at federal prison.
Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen filed a motion to join the request of his co-conspirator, Derek Hahn, who earlier this month asked a judge to let him stay out of prison, on bond, pending his appeal.
Both are supposed to show up at different mainland facilities to begin serving their sentences June 1.
Nguyen was ordered to spend four and a half years at Federal Prison Camp Yankton, in South Dakota, a minimum security center.
Hahn, a former Honolulu police lieutenant, was ordered to spend three and a half years at a facility in Sheridan, Oregon.
They were already granted an extension from April to June due to COVID-19.
Both were convicted of obstruction of justice and conspiracy in June 2019 in the mailbox corruption case.
The group, which included ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a former high-ranking deputy prosecutor, framed a man for a crime he did not commit.
Kealoha will also report to the federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon on June 1 to serve seven years.
A judge is allowing him to visit family in Washington ahead of his self-surrender. Kealoha leaves Hawaii on May 29.
Katherine Kealoha, the ringleader of the conspiracy, has already served almost two years of her 13-year sentence. She was ordered detained after the guilty verdict.
Hahn’s motion says he is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the community and that he has complied with conditions of his bond.
Federal prosecutors responded in their own motion of opposition to Nguyen’s request. In that document, they say Nguyen cannot simply piggyback on Hahn’s request to delay prison term.
“Nguyen cannot simply join Hahn’s motion because they are not similarly situated,” the special prosecutor writes. ”Given Nguyen’s ubiquitous role in the framing of Gerard Puana, and direct liability for the false statements, Nguyen cannot meet his burden — as he must — of demonstrating entitlement to release pending appeal.”
A federal judge is expected to rule on the motion on May 25.
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