The attorney for Rudolph Puana, a Big Island doctor and brother of former Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, said he's ready to go to trial.

The siblings pleaded not guilty Wednesday to dozens of drug charges in federal court. They're both out on bail awaiting trial.

"The government's made a lot of allegations and we're prepared to answer them," said Puana's stand-in attorney, Benjamin Ignacio. 

Puana is an anesthesiologist. He was taken into custody earlier this week. He's accused of using his medical clinic on the Big Island to unlawfully distribute and dispense drugs such as oxycodone, Xanax and fentanyl. He also allegedly coached co-conspirators in this case on how to resell prescription drugs for profit or exchange them to buy other drugs like cocaine.

That's where his sister allegedly comes in.

Former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha was seen walking into court with the arm of her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, draped around her shoulders. She even gave him a small wave from the courtroom before the U.S. attorney began discussing her alleged crimes.

She's accused of helping distribute the drugs and covering up for her brother. Court documents give examples of messages between Kealoha and one of the conspirators, who she allegedly helped with a plea deal in another case in order to hide Puana's involvement, that say quote, "you are such a good person, now we need to vindicate you on many levels, while we have them be accountable!!!" 

"Just remember that I always got ur back, I love you and will protect you always!!!" 

Then, once the deal was reached, an exchange that starts with Conspirator: "Go team!"

Kealoha: "cant wait for this **** to be over."

Conspirator: "Ditto then we're free."

Federal prosecutors asked that Puana be held without bail claiming he is a drug addict and a gun enthusiast and is therefore dangerous and a flight risk. That request was denied. U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi instead assigned him $50,000 bond and continued visits to a substance abuse program.
Prosecutors did succeed in setting stricter restrictions for Kealoha. She was never detained and released Wednesday on unsecured $100,000 bond, but cannot travel outside of Oahu and is subject to drug testing.

The trial is set for April 16th trial.

This trial will take place not long after Katherine, her husband Louis Kealoha and others stand trial for unrelated conspiracy charges following a mailbox theft and its cover up. Then this summer the Kealohas will stand another unrelated trial for bank fraud.


Katherine Kealoha and her brother, Anesthesiologist Dr. Rudolph Puana, were recently indicted on drug distribution charges, and headed to court for their initial appearance Wednesday.

Both Kealoha and Puana pleaded not guilty.

The sixteen-page indictment is laced with charges of abuse of power and the distribution of powerful opioid painkillers illegally prescribed by Big Island doctor Rudolph Puana, Katherine Kealoha's brother. 

The documents list oxycodone, fentanyl, and Xanax and details how Kealoha thwarted investigations into her brother's case and describes how Kealoha assigned herself as the prosecutor to an investigation after she was informed by law enforcement that Puana and another individual were buying and using cocaine.

The indictment charges the siblings and several unnamed co-conspirators.