Former Maui officer sentenced for role in bribe scheme
Aug. 18, 2018
WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A former Maui police officer has been sentenced to four months in prison and three years of probation for witness tampering.
U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor also ordered Chase Keliipaakaua to serve four months of home confinement, said Amalia Fenton, assistant U.S. attorney in Hawaii, on Friday.
The 31-year-old and two others were accused of helping former police officer Anthony Maldonado of Kahului bribe the victim of a theft committed by Maldonado during a 2015 traffic stop.
After Maldonado stole about $1,800 from a driver and the driver reported the theft to police, Maldonado sought advice from Keliipaakaua, who told him not present the bribe himself in case his plan didn't succeed, court documents state.
Maldonado offered the victim about $2,000 through Damien Kaina Jr. in exchange for the victim to withdraw his complaint against Maldonado, according to court documents.
Kaina's cousin, former police Sgt. Walter Ahuna, picked up Kaina from the victim's home and drove him to meet Maldonado.
The victim reported the attempted bribery to police the following day.
Keliipaakaua pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit witness tampering.
Maldonado pleaded guilty in April to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of conspiracy to commit witness tampering. He is awaiting sentencing.
Kaina was sentenced to two months in jail, a period of home confinement and three years of supervised release for witness tampering, Fenton said.
Ahuna also is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to witness tampering in June 2017.
Keliipaakaua, Maldonado and Ahuna no longer work for the Maui Police Department, Fenton said.