A former Maui Police Department officer is facing federal charges alleging he stole money from a man during a traffic stop two years ago and conspired with others to bribe the victim to withdraw his theft complaint.
Anthony Maldonado, 28, of Pukalani was arrested Thursday morning on an indictment handed down Nov. 9 by a federal grand jury.
During his arraignment Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, Maldonado pleaded not guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to commit witness tampering and engaging in misleading conduct.
He was released on a $50,000 bond.
Maldonado, who is also known as Ikaika, was working as a Lahaina patrol officer when he made the traffic stop Sept. 30, 2015, and stole about $1,800 from the driver, according to court documents.
The indictment alleges that from Oct. 10 to 15, 2015, Maldonado and others, including two other police officers, participated in trying to bribe the driver so he would falsely report to the Police Department that he had found his missing money and would withdraw his theft complaint against Maldonado.
Maldonado’s wife obtained $4,500 in cash from a relative and provided some of the money to Maldonado to use for a bribe, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that Maldonado communicated with officer Chase Keliipaakaua about the bribery plan on Oct. 13, 2015, and later that night met with police Sgt. Walter “Kepa” Ahuna and Damien Kaina Jr. to discuss the plan. Ahuna reportedly agreed to pick up his cousin Kaina after he offered the bribe to the victim on behalf of Maldonado on Oct. 13, 2015.
The next day, while he was working at the Lahaina police station, Keliipaakaua repeatedly texted Maldonado to say that the victim hadn’t shown up at the police station to withdraw his complaint, according to the indictment. At Maldonado’s request, Keliipaakaua called the victim and told him “to go to the police station soon,” according to the indictment.
Pages: 1 2
var params =
cb: (new Date()).getTime()
for(var key in params) qs.push(key+’=’+encodeURIComponent(params[key]));
var p = ‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https’ : ‘http’;
s.src = p + “://api.content-ad.net/Scripts/widget2.aspx?” + qs.join(‘&’);