Three Las Vegas Street Gang Members Sentenced To Prison For Distributing Counterfeit Pills Containing Fentanyl
RENO, Nev. – Three individuals were sentenced Monday for their roles in a multi-state conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada.
Devon Kealiiaukai Kauwe, 35, of Waianae, Hawaii; Joseph Novit Fua, aka “Joey Boy,” 29, and Rhonda Pualani Wong-Fernandez, 30, both of Honolulu, were sentenced to 130 months, 135 months, and 41 months in prison, respectively, by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks. Kauwe and Fua each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and one count of distribution of at least 50 grams of methamphetamine and Wong-Fernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to their individual plea agreements, from April 2014 to May 2014, Kauwe, Fua, and Wong-Fernandez conspired to possess and distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine. To further the conspiracy, Kauwe agreed to sell seven pounds of methamphetamine for $102,000 to a buyer who was an undercover agent. Kauwe contacted Fua to help him obtain the drugs. Fua and co-conspirators arranged for and acquired a total of 17 pounds, seven pounds were for Kauwe and 10 pounds were for Fua, of methamphetamine. Fua and Wong-Fernandez obtained the 17 pounds of methamphetamine from co-conspirators in the Los Angeles area. Kauwe and co-conspirator Jeromy Perez received seven pounds of methamphetamine from Fua and Wong-Fernandez. Kauwe and Perez drove with the drugs from California to Reno. Fua and Wong-Fernandez drove with ten pounds to Denver where Fua used a co-conspirator to get the concealed methamphetamine around airport security. In Reno, Perez delivered the methamphetamine to co-defendant Shane Kelly McPherson, who then delivered the drugs to the undercover agent in a casino parking lot. On May 5, 2014, during the drug transaction, law enforcement arrested McPherson, Perez, and Kauwe.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA and Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Keller prosecuted the case.