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Women, former gang members testify in USO trial

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Two women and two former prison gang members testified Friday in the federal trial of a prison gang member and a former Halawa Correctional Facility guard.

Tineimalo Adkins, a member of the "USO Family" prison gang, and Feso Malufau, the former guard, are being tried on federal racketering-related charges. They were among 18 men indicted last year. The others have pleaded guilty. Malufau is accused of taking bribes for smuggling drugs into the prison, and Adkins is accused of a violent gang assault on a Halawa inmate.

Melisa George Gonzaga, 50, testified she helped an inmate friend prepare tax returns for Halawa prison inmates. She also said she gave money, cigarettes and drugs to a prison guard.

The partially blind sister of another defendant testified as to her role in moving money and cigarettes. She was not asked to identify the man in court, however, Gonzaga identified Malufau as the guard she dealt with.

One of the former gang members told jurors he picked up drugs from Malufau’s office in prison.

The USO Family formed to protect Hawaii inmates from other gangs after the state started sending its prisoners to the mainland in the 1990s because of overcrowding and budget constraints. What started as a small group of Samoans grew into a multistate organization that included any Hawaii inmate, regardless of ethnicity.

Ex-inmate testifies in Hawaii prison gang trial

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