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Former Maui Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Theft Under Color of Law and Witness Tampering

Former police officer Anthony Maldonado, of Kahului, Maui, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law in violation of Title 18, United States Code § 242, and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering in violation of Title 18, United States Code § 1512(k).

According to court documents and information presented in court, Officer Maldonado conducted a traffic stop at the Mala Wharf on Maui in September 2015. He used the opportunity to steal approximately $1,800 in cash from the fanny pack of the person who he stopped. When the victim later realized the cash was missing, he reported the theft to Maui police. After the report was filed, the defendant and four others attempted to bribe the victim to withdraw the complaint. Three co-defendants previously pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering.

“Law enforcement officers must uphold their pledge to protect the members of their communities and conduct themselves with honor,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to enforce the law and protect the civil rights of all to be free from willful police misconduct.”

“Everyone should be able to trust that an encounter with law enforcement will not result in theft,” said U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price for the District of Hawaii. “No one is above the law, least of all police officers who are charged with protecting our community.”

Maldonado’s sentencing is scheduled for August 23 before U.S. District Judge Helen Gilmor. He faces up to 21 years in prison, a fine of up to $350,000, and a period of supervised release of up to three years.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mary Hahn of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jill Otake and Marc A. Wallenstein from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii.