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Ex-Maui police officer convicted of federal crimes arrested again in child sex sting

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 9:24 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2021 at 3:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The ex-MPD officer fired after a Hawaii News Now investigative report is back in custody after allegedly trying to have sex with a teen.

Brandon Saffeels was arrested Sunday morning during Operation Keiki Shield — a joint operation by county, state and federal agencies to track down child predators.

Saffeels was allegedly communicating with an agent, pretending to be a 13-year old girl. The criminal complaint shows him asking the agent how old she was and then offering money in exchange for sex.

The court records also say he sent a nude photo of himself.

He was arrested at a grocery store in the Piilani Village Shopping Center in Kihei after allegedly arriving to meet the girl.

His bail has been set at $500,000.

In November, Saffeels was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to honest services fraud. He admitted to soliciting sex from a woman he arrested for DUI in 2019.

He invited her over to his house in a recorded phone conversation and text messages, in exchange he would throw his testimony at her trial.

That woman came forward to Hawaii News Now days after the incident because she was afraid MPD would cover it up.

After her story aired, another woman came forward, saying Saffeels also made inappropriate statements after responding to her home when she was the victim of a crime.

A third woman reached out to Hawaii News Now with pictures Saffeels sent to her of himself, some without a shirt on.

The woman said he was on duty when he stopped to talk to her as she was working on her car.

All three women have now filed civil lawsuits against Maui County, and are represented by attorney Michael Green.

“The guy’s a sick guy,” Green said, about the new allegations.

Green also said this arrest could mean his previous plea agreement will be set aside.

Saffeels was scheduled to self-surrender on Jan. 7 to the Sheridan Federal Institution in Oregon, but that could change.

“He was going to go to a camp,” Green said, ”He’s going to go to a regular facility now.”

During his Nov. 3 sentencing, Saffeels apologized to the victim and to U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi, who said he abused his power as a police officer and took advantage of a vulnerable victim.

“This is a slap in the face for everyone, the department, the county, the federal system,” said Green.

Saffeels’ first court appearance on the new charge is set for Wednesday morning.

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