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Hilo Doctor Linked to Big Island Drug Ring

February 12, 2019, 4:18 PM HST
* Updated February 13, 8:57 AM
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A federal grand jury has indicted former Honolulu prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her brother, Dr. Rudolph Puana, on drug distribution charges.

Dr. Puana is an anesthesiologist and pain doctor in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

The indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, alleges that Kealoha steered law enforcement away from investigating Dr. Puana after police told her that he was buying cocaine.

The indictment charges Kealoha, her brother and unnamed co-conspirators with distributing oxycodone, fentanyl and Xanax.

The indictment also states that Puana advised one co-conspirator to use proceeds from the sale of illegal prescription pain medication to buy cocaine for the two of them.


According to Hawaii News Now, FBI agents arrested Puana at his Big Island home early Tuesday before flying him to the Federal Detention Center.


The 56-count indictment alleges Kealoha’s leading role in a small, multi-island drug ring.

Civil Beat reported that “Four other co-conspirators with personal or business ties to Kealoha and Puana are alleged to have sold the drugs on multiple islands, sometimes using the proceeds to line their pockets or to buy cocaine for themselves or Puana.”

View the entire indictment here.

This information was provided by the authorities. An indictment is a formal accusation initiating a criminal case, presented by a grand jury and usually required for felonies and other serious crimes. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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