(AP) — A Honolulu police sergeant charged in a corruption-related investigation targeting the department’s former chief and his former prosecutor wife is pleading guilty.

Court records show Sgt. Daniel Sellers is scheduled to change his plea next week. He previously pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to a federal grand jury and the FBI.

It’s not clear what charges he’s pleading guilty to. Defense attorney Richard Sing declined to comment.

Kealoha case witness or defendant.
Police Sgt. Daniel Sellers leaves a courtroom in March. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

Sellers is a key player in the ongoing investigation of former Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, former city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. As a member of the HPD Criminal Intelligence Unit, Sellers reported directly to the chief.

Investigators believe several members of the CIU, including Sellers, took part in the alleged framing of Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, Gerard Puana, for the theft of her mailbox in 2014. He was also part of a 2015 drug raid that has since captured the attention of federal investigators and raised questions about Katherine Kealoha’s brother, who used to own a pain clinic on the Big Island.

Additionally, Sellers was named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by Puana in which he claims Sellers, Kealoha and another alleged co-conspirator in the mailbox case, Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, broke into Puana’s house and stole $15,000 in cash. According to the lawsuit, Puana planned to use that money to bail himself out of jail. Instead, he spent 72 days there while awaiting trial.

The Kealohas have pleaded not guilty.

Civil Beat reporter Nick Grube contributed to this report.

An Important Note

If you consider nonprofit, independent news to be an essential service that helps keep our community informed, please include Civil Beat among your year-end contributions.

And for those who can, consider supporting us with a monthly gift, which helps keep our content free for those who need it most.

This year, we are making it our goal to raise $225,000 in reader support by December 31, to support our news coverage statewide and throughout the Pacific. Are you ready to help us continue this work?

About the Author