Home Salt Lake City Press Releases 2010 Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Members, Associates of Tongan Crip Gang with RICO, Other Violations...
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Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Members, Associates of Tongan Crip Gang with RICO, Other Violations

U.S. Attorney’s Office May 12, 2010
  • District of Utah (801) 524-5682

SALT LAKE CITY—Seventeen members and associates of the Tongan Crip Gang, also known as TCG, have been charged in a 29-count federal indictment that alleges the gang is a criminal organization engaged in acts of violence to enhance the gang’s prestige and to protect and expand the gang’s operations. The indictment includes one count charging nine defendants with conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO).

The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City Thursday, was unsealed Wednesday afternoon.

Charged in the indictment are Eric Kamahele, aka Smooth; Mataika Tuai, aka Fish; Latutaofieikii Fakaosiula; Vainga Kinikini; Tevita Tolutau, aka Kingi; Siale Angilau, aka C-Down; Penisimani Fangupo, aka Deuce; David Kamoto, aka D-Down; Viliami Loumoli, aka Eazy V; Daniel Maumau, aka D-Loc; Kepa Maumau, aka Kap-Loc; Charles Moa, aka Slim-Loc; George Pupunu, aka T-Rex; Sitamipa Toki, aka Tok-Loc; John Tuakalau, aka Sin-Loc; Peter Tuiaki, aka Pistol-Pete; and David Walsh, aka D-Nutt.

Sixteen of the 17 defendants were in custody prior to the return of the indictment. One defendant, Daniel Maumau, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a federal warrant. Earlier this afternoon, 14 of the defendants had initial appearances on the charges in federal court. Appearances for other defendants will be scheduled later. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. Individuals charged in an indictment are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

According to the indictment, TCG’s leadership, membership, and associates constitutes a criminal enterprise whose members function as a continuing unit for the purpose of achieving the objectives of the enterprise. The indictment alleges the defendants have engaged in acts of violent crime in furtherance of common purposes. The purposes of the enterprise include promoting and enhancing the prestige, reputation, and position of the enterprise with respect to rival criminal organizations; preserving and protecting the power and territory of the enterprise through the use of intimidation, threats, and acts of violence including assaults and murder; keeping victims and rivals in fear of the enterprise’s members and associates; and enriching members and associates of the enterprise through criminal activity.

“While previous state and federal prosecutions have held some individual TCG members accountable for their crimes, many gang members have continued in an escalating and alarming pattern of violence. The RICO conspiracy count in today’s indictment documents this pattern by alleging that convenience store robberies progressed to armed robberies; armed robberies progressed to firearms being brandished and shots being fired; and shots being fired escalated to allegations of murder and attempted murder. For these reasons, we are using RICO to target and dismantle the gang as a criminal organization,” Acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said today.

The indictment follows an investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Salt Lake City Police Department, the West Valley City Police Department, Salt Lake Area Metro Gang Unit, and the Utah Department of Corrections and was coordinated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office.

James S. McTighe, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Salt Lake City, said, “TCG is the latest gang to be targeted by an alliance of Salt Lake Valley investigators and prosecutors in complex conspiracy investigations. This multigenerational street gang has terrorized neighborhoods throughout the valley with violence and intimidation for years. TCG thrives on robberies, shootings and violent assaults. This RICO indictment is not the first or the last serious prosecution for this gang. It is only the latest chapter in the continuing investigation of TCG by local, state and federal investigators and prosecutors.”

Count one of the indictment charges Angilau, Fangupo, Kamahele, Loumoli, Kepa Maumau, Pupunu, Tuai, Tuakalau, and Tuiaki with conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity from about 2002 and continuing through the date of the indictment. As evidence of the conspiracy and its objectives, the indictment lists 34 overt acts, among others, committed or caused to be committed by the defendants and their co-conspirators. The overt acts start with robberies and assaults at 7-Eleven stores in December 2002 and continue through September 2008.

Twenty-eight counts of the indictment charge defendants with violent crimes in aid of racketeering; robberies; carjacking; assault on a federal officer; and brandishing or discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

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