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Samoan prison gang in Hawaii target of FBI probe

fili@samoanews.com

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Honolulu has no comment at this time on an ongoing federal investigation into a Samoan prison gang reportedly operating at the state and federal prisons in Hawai'i.

Samoa News learned of the investigation after the federal court in Honolulu released Wednesday the superseding indictment against Honolulu Police Capt. Carlton Nishimura who is facing an extortion charge for allegedly trying to obtain money from the operator of an illegal game room. He also faces charges of attempting to tamper with a witness and making false statements.

Under count 4 of the indictment, dealing with making a false statement, the superseding indictment - which adds a new drug charge against Nishimura - alleges that Nishimura "stated and represented to FBI agents that he had not talked with ‘D.I' about the federal task force investigation into the United Samoan Organization (USO), whereas, in truth and in fact, as he then well knew, he had spoken with ‘D.I. about such federal investigation."

When asked about the USO group and the investigation, Honolulu based FBI spokesperson Thomas J. Simon Jr. told Samoa News on Wednesday afternoon that USO "is a prison gang" and that the FBI has no comments on any ongoing federal investigation.

Asked if the feds have any idea as to the home-base of USO, Simon says that with more Samoans in Hawaii than any other state, there is a "higher concentration of Samoans in prison" in Hawai'i.

Simon also said that state and federal prisons in Hawai'i are known to have USO members.

Without additional information from the FBI, it's unclear at this point as to the target of the federal investigation into the USO prison gang.

Two Samoans who have lived in Honolulu for many years told Samoa News yesterday morning via telephone that USO members are mostly concentrated at the Oahu Community Correctional Center - not far from the Honolulu International Airport.

The pair, who asked not be identified, said USO members not only protect Samoan inmates, but others that they have befriended. Additionally, there are also a lot of USO members at the Halawa Correctional Facility, a medium security state facility in Aiea on Oahu island.

A handful of websites say that USO is the largest prison gang in Hawai'i, and that the group runs the prison system.

Samoa News should point out that there are legitimate United Samoan Organizations - which are church or non-profit groups - in cities in Washington state, California and Hawai'i.



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