Former Maui Officer Saffeels Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Public Corruption
Former Maui Police officer, Brandon Charles Saffeels, 36, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for public corruption in the form of honest services wire fraud.
The indictment to which Saffeels pled guilty in May 2021 alleges that he “engaged in a bribery scheme wherein he solicited a sexual relationship with a female motorist in exchange for an official act as an MPD officer.”
The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi.
According to court documents and information provided in court, in July 2019, then-MPD Officer Saffeels arrested a woman (“Individual A”) for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, and, after she was released from custody, Saffeels began communicating with Individual A over the phone and through text messages.
“Among other things, Saffeels told Individual A that he would help her to beat the state case being brought against her by the Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Maui. Saffeels explained that he would provide perjured testimony at her trial so that the court would throw it out or the jury would find in her favor. However, Saffeels told Individual A that she would have to meet in person for him to help her. At one point during the course of their communications, he invited her to come to his house and told her to bring clothes,” according to a US Department of Justice press release.
Acting US Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi Judith A. Philips said, “Brandon Saffeels betrayed our expectation that law enforcement officers will not take advantage of their authority for personal benefit. This prosecution demonstrates our determination to hold public officials accountable for criminal abuse of their positions.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill said, “The cornerstone of the public’s trust in law enforcement relies on the expectation that each person who takes the oath to protect and serve the public will do so with integrity. Today, former Officer Saffeels was sentenced for violating that trust. I’m proud of our team who worked collaboratively after becoming aware of concerns regarding the former officer’s conduct. They exemplify our commitment to ensure all public servants are worthy of the public’s trust and confidence.”
The FBI conducted the investigation resulting in this conviction. Assistant US Attorney Mohammad Khatib is handling the prosecution.