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Ex-guard allegedly profited off gang

  • DEAN SENSUI
    19990415 CTY - Inmates at Halawa Prison go off to lunch. The entire module goes all at once, walking along "Main Street" in single file. SB Photo by Dean Sensui.
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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 resold 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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