Second of Anchorage brothers sentenced for brutal beating, drug trafficking

The second of two brothers from Anchorage has been sentenced for drug trafficking and a kidnapping that occurred in 2017.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:28 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The second of two brothers from Anchorage has been sentenced for drug trafficking and a kidnapping that occurred in 2017.

Content Warning: This article contains information that some readers might find disturbing. Specific details have been omitted to protect the victims’ identities.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, 31-year-old Faamanu Vaifanua — aka Junior — was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Monday by Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason.

“This was a calculated act of savagery against another human being, not a random act of violence,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “The Vaifanua brothers will spend decades in federal prison for their complete disregard for human life. Drug dealers across the state should take note – vicious attacks will not be tolerated for any reason. My office is committed to working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to ensure justice is served.”

According to the release, Vaifanua and his brother Macauther — aka Mac — distributed heroin between January 2015 and August 2017 through a victim who they later kidnapped.

The release said that the Vaifanua brothers believed that the victim had stolen drugs from them, and that Macauther Vaifanua lured the victim into their home on Aug. 13, 2017. The victim was then taken into the Vaifanuas’ garage, where he was bound, gagged, and beaten for almost an hour, according to the release.

“The defendant’s cruel disregard to human life and suffering is appalling,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Donald W. Lee II of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “When individuals, such as the defendant and his co-conspirators, threaten the safety of our neighborhoods and communities, they will be met with a certain justice.”

The release said that the Vaifanua brothers and two co-defendants used a metal baseball bat, a metal broom handle, their feet and fists to torture the victim until the victim was knocked unconscious. The release said that the four men then threatened a person driving a truck nearby by pointing a gun at them.

“After a certain point, believing that the victim was either dead or near death, they placed the victim inside a metal dog kennel while still bound and gagged,” the release said.

While at gunpoint, the four had the truck’s driver back up to the garage, where they loaded the kennel containing the victim into the bed of the truck and instructed the driver to “leave and never be seen again.”

The driver left the area and stopped to find out what the four men had loaded into the back of the truck. Upon learning that the victim was in the kennel, the driver immediately took the victim to a hospital for life-saving medical attention and brain surgery, the release said.

“The abuse suffered by the victim is heinous,” Anchorage Police Chief Michael Kerle said. “The physical, emotional, and psychological effects of this magnitude of trauma are incomprehensible. It is our sincere hope today’s sentencing will aid in the victim’s life-long healing process.”

Macauther Vaifanua was previously sentenced to 50 years in prison in June of 2021 for kidnapping and drug trafficking, and 25-year-old Tamole Lauina was charged as an accessory after the fact and sentenced to seven years in prison. However, 28-year-old Rex Faumui and 33-year-old Jeffrey Ahvan have both pleaded guilty but have yet to be sentenced.