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Investigators say guards profited from prison gang

Investigators say guards profited from prison gang

HONOLULU (AP) — A former Halawa Prison corrections officer profited from selling cigarettes to a prison gang and a second former guard received thousands in bribes, according to federal prosecutors.

FBI officials last week announced the indictment of 17 inmates in state custody and one former corrections officer, without going into detail of how state employees were involved, Hawaii News Now ( ) reported. The indictment said the inmates were members of a prison gang known as “USO Family” that had participated in drug-trafficking, bribery and violence.

Former Halawa guard Feso Malufau, 54, was among those indicted in the document announced last week. He and five inmates were charged with racketeering conspiracy and with multiple acts of fraud, bribery and distribution of marijuana and crystal methamphetamine.

A previous federal indictment charged Malufau with taking money for smuggling contraband into the prison.

Federal authorities also are pursing Malufau and his wife for failing to disclose illicit income and a property in Hauula when they filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

Malufau was fired last September for reasons not connected to the prison gang operation, according to prison officials.

Former Halawa guard John Joseph Kalei Hall was indicted previously. In 2012, he pleaded guilty to smuggling cigarettes into the prison and selling them to gang members.

Investigators said Hall sold cigarettes for $500 per carton and gang members re-sold them to inmates. Federal prosecutors said Hall was paid $10,000 to $30,000 by gang members.

Cigarettes were banned from Hawaii prisons in 2010.

Hall resigned in February. He was sentenced to one year and one month in federal prison.

The indicted Hawaii inmates have been moved from Halawa Prison or other mainland facilities to federal custody.


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