Waiawa inmate pleads guilty to assaulting correctional officer, possessing phone

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Sep. 23—An inmate at Waiawa Correctional Facility has pleaded guilty to assaulting a correctional officer and possession of a cell phone, which is a prison contraband.

The state Department of Public Safety today said that Lopaka Mahaulu had been charged with second-degree assault involving a corrections officer and promotion of a prison contraband.

On Sept. 6, a WCF adult corrections officer reportedly heard a noise coming form a housing dorm and witnessed Mahaulu in possession of the banned cell phone.

The corrections officer tried to take the phone, but Mahaulu allegedly assaulted the officer, ran outside the building and threw the phone over the perimeter fence. The department's Narcotics Enforcement Division, along with the Department of the Attorney General and WCF's warden and chief of security, was able to recover the phone.

"We appreciate the collaborative work between the Department of the Attorney General and Public Safety's Corrections and Narcotics Enforcement Divisions, which resulted in obtaining this guilty plea. Anyone who breaks the law should know that their actions will be investigated, and they will be prosecuted for their crimes, " said Max Otani, director of DPS, in a statement.

Mahaulu faces a mandatory five-year prison sentence.