© 2024 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pain physician brother of Kealoha pleads guilty to gun charge ahead of drug-dealing trial

Beth Cortez-Neavel/Flickr
CC BY 2.0 License

HONOLULU — The pain physician brother of a former Hawaiʻi prosecutor imprisoned in a corruption case pleaded guilty to one charge in an indictment alleging the doctor prescribed drugs to friends so they could sell them for cash.

Rudolph Puana's drug-dealing trial on 53 other counts began Tuesday with jury selection. The other charges include conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and health care fraud.

He admitted to committing only the last charge in the indictment: being an addict in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors say Puana prescribed oxycodone to his friends so that they could sell the pills for cash. They said some of the sales funded cocaine parties with him.

Puana “strongly disputes the allegations,” his attorney has said.

Puana’s sister, Katherine Kealoha, pleaded guilty in 2019 to using her position as a deputy prosecutor in Honolulu to protect him from a drug-dealing investigation.

She entered the plea after a jury found her and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, guilty of conspiracy in a separate case alleging they plotted to frame a relative to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle.

Katherine Kealoha is expected to testify against her brother at his trial.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.
Related Stories