RETIRED POSTAL EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING
Retired postal worker Nikolao Faasala pled guilty this past Friday to misdemeanor stealing. Faasala was initially charged with embezzlement, felony stealing and responsibility for the conduct of another to commit forgery.
But in a plea agreement with the government, Faasala pled guilty to the amended charge of stealing as a misdemeanor and the remaining charges were dismissed.
Faasala was charged in connection with the 2009 alleged theft of money and postage stamps belonging to the Post Office. He is out on bail of $3,500.
The case was investigated by the federal government and later referred to the Attorney General’s office for local prosecution. Faasala is alleged to have removed $1,800 in cash and stamps from his drawer between January and March 2009.
A Honolulu Postmaster made periodic visits to the local Post Office to conduct audits and on Sept. 08, 2009 he audited Faasala’s drawer and discovered a shortage of $2,977.06, said court filings.
After two days of interviews, Faasala allegedly admitted to taking the money and stamps from his drawer.
On Sept. 11, 2009 Special Agent Kevin Shimoda of the Inspector General's Office initiated an investigation and issued a “Letter of Demand for Indebtedness for Employee Accountable Credit Shortage” which notified Faasala that the Postal Service was intent on collecting $2,977.06
Faasala has already made payment of this amount to the Postal Service.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea agreement and Faasala is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 21, 2013.
FORMER COP GETS FIVE YEARS JAIL TIME FOR DRUG CHARGES
Chief Justice Michael Kruse handed down a straight five-year prison sentence for former police officer Samuelu Tupuola who was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to distribute, possession of an unlicensed firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Tupuola was charged together with his girlfriend Teroa Faletoi but Tupuola faced an additional count of resisting arrest.
Tupuola pled guilty to unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of live ammunition and the remaining count was dismissed.
The case against the couple came after police executed a search warrant at the hospital where Tupuola was employed. During the search, police found a yellow container with 20 cut-up straws with sealed ends containing meth, and three plastic baggies of methamphetamine.
A search of the couple's Ili'ili residence uncovered baggies containing methamphetamine, a hand gun with ammunition, $1,000 cash, three glass pipes commonly used to smoke "ice," approximately 1,200 empty Ziploc plastic baggies, and a digital scale.
Tupuola has faced drug charges before, but they were dismissed as part of a plea agreement that required him to testify during a jury trial against another drug defendant several years ago.
Kruse sentenced Tupuola to five years in jail for the drug charge, and one year for the ammunition count - both of which are to be served concurrently. A fine of $20,000 was also ordered. Kruse said the money that was found during the police raid will be credited to the defendant’s fine.
Tupuola was tearful when Kruse handed down his sentence.
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