Ex-Maui police officer sentenced in theft, bribery scheme
Aug. 30, 2018
HONOLULU (AP) — A former Maui police officer convicted of stealing $1,800 from a man during a traffic stop and conspiring with others to bribe the man has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Anthony Maldonado was sentenced in federal court Tuesday after pleading guilty in April to charges of deprivation of rights under color of law and conspiracy to commit witness tampering.
Maldonado, 29, took the money from the man while he was stopped at Mala Wharf in Lahaina in September 2015, according to court documents. The man later reported the theft to the police department.
To get the man to withdraw his complaint, Maldonado hatched a scheme with three other men, including two Maui police officers.
Maldonado offered the victim about $2,000 through Damien Kaina in exchange for the victim to withdraw his complaint, according to court documents. The man accepted $1,800 and later reported the bribe to police.
Maldonado apologized in court Tuesday for his actions.
"It's hard for me to imagine what I was thinking," Maldonado said.
He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,917 in restitution.
Damien Kaina and former officer Chase Keliipaakaua were convicted for their roles in the scheme, receiving jail sentences.
Former police Sgt. Walter Ahuna has also been convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
"Police officers are sworn to protect and serve; whenever that oath is broken, it is a blow to our community as a whole," U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price said. "That is why our office is committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting all instances of police misconduct."