HONOLULU - He was Honolulu's top cop. She was a deputy prosecutor. Louis and Katherine Kealoha -- a power couple now at the center of a massive federal corruption case.

It all began with a mailbox shown in surveillance video taken outside the Kealoha's home in June of 2013. The Kealoha's say the figure seen taking the mailbox was Gerard Puana, Katherine's uncle.

Federal prosecutors charged Puana with destroying the mailbox which could have landed him in prison. But during Puana's trial, then-Chief Kealoha took the stand and told the jury about Puana's conviction for unlawfully entering a neighbor's home two years earlier.

According to court documents filed by federal authorities, the chief's statement derailed that trial and prevented Puana's defense from establishing he was framed. That case ended in a mistrial.

Puana's defense attorney was convinced the Kealoha's staged the whole thing to gain leverage in a legal battle over money Katherine allegedly stole from her grandmother, Florence Puana. That attorney handed over the details of his case to the FBI. They dug up the rest.

"Its as if you find a bad plant and you try to pull it out and there are roots that go in all kinds of directions," said retired law professor Randy Roth. 

One direction led federal investigators to indicting the Kealohas as well as members of the Honolulu Police Department's Criminal Intelligence Unit on conspiracy and obstruction charges.

These three officers are accused of covering up the theft: Derek Wayne Hahn, Minh-Hung or "Bobby" Nguyen, and Gordon Shiraishi.

"We definitely look forward to our day in court," said Louis Kealoha.

The Kealohas, the officers and their attorneys continue to fight the charges.

In a trial brief filed May 2, federal attorneys say the trial evidence will outline the motive for framing Gerard Puana and seeking to discredit Florence Puana, the conspirators' preparation for the staged mailbox theft, the immediate aftermath, and the efforts to cover up the crimes.

Several alleged co-conspirators have already plead guilty and are listed as witnesses.

More than 400 people have been called as potential jurors. Their job will be to weigh the evidence.

"We're not here to decide whether this person is a good person or a bad person, we're simply trying to decide whether or not there's evidence that shows this person committed the offense that they did," said lawyer Doug Chin.

The case sent federal investigators in multiple other directions -- indicting the couple for financial crimes, looping in Katherine's brother for drug offenses, exposing an affair, sending target letters to the city's top attorney and prosecutor and more.

Chin -- who most recently served as Hawaii's Lieutenant Governor and, before that, Hawaii's Attorney General -- also worked for the city when Louis Kealoha was chief.

"I gotta say when all of these allegations came out it was, its sad," said Chin.

He also says when the allegations about the mailbox surfaced and escalated, many lost faith in Honolulu's law enforcement. Chin hopes the public's trust is restored once the trial wraps up.