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Ex-guard, inmate convicted in Hawaii prison gang trial

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE
    Halawa Correctional Facility
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A federal jury has found former state prison guard Feso Malufau and inmate Tineimalo Adkins guilty of racketeering crimes in connection with the Hawaii-based "USO Family" prison gang.

The jurors deliberated a little more than half-day Friday before finding Malufau guilty of racketeering conspiracy for smuggling drugs and cigarettes into Halawa Correctional Facility and selling them to the gang.

They found Adkins guilty of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering for leading a gang-related brutal attack on a fellow inmate.

Malufau claimed he was framed by the gang. Adkins claimed he was not present at the assault scene. U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi will sentence both in February.  

Adkins and Malufau are among 18 defendants indicted in September 2013 on various racketeering charges. The other defendants pleaded guilty before trial. Among the defendants, Malufau was the only prison guard. The rest were Hawaii inmates when they committed their crimes. 

Before and after last September’s indictment, other former prison guards admitted that they too smuggled contraband into the prison for USO.

USO stands for United Samoa Organization. Uso also means brother in Samoan.

State prison officials say Hawaii inmates formed the gang under a different name in 1995 for protection from other gangs in mainland prisons. The gang continued after mainland prison officials separated Hawaii inmates from inmates of other states and is the dominant Hawaii-based prison gang, which operates both inside and outside prison, officials said.

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