According to court documents, Macauther Christmas Vaifanua, 35, aka “Mac” and his brother, Faamanu Vaifanua, 31, aka “Junior” distributed heroin in the Anchorage area through the kidnapped victim between January 2015 and August 2017.
Believing that the victim had stolen from their residence, he was lured to Vaifanua’s home on August 13, 2017. As the victim was leaving the residence, he was led into the garage where he was forcibly bound and gagged. The victim was then beaten and tortured for nearly an hour by Vaifanua and his co-defendants in an assault that was captured on Vaifanua’s home video surveillance system. Vaifanua and his co-defendants used an aluminum baseball bat, a metal broom stick and their hands and feet to beat the defendant into unconsciousness, causing severe injuries and permanent disability. After a certain point, believing that the victim was either dead or near death, Vaifanua and his co-defendants then placed the victim inside a metal dog kennel while still bound and gagged.
Vaifanua and several of his co-defendants then threatened a person in the area at gunpoint to back his pickup truck to the garage door. The group loaded the kennel into the back of the truck with the victim still in it. The driver was told at gunpoint to leave and never be seen again. After driving away from the area, the driver stopped to see what had been loaded into his truck. Upon seeing the victim, he immediately drove to a hospital emergency room where the victim received life-saving medical attention including brain surgery.
Vaifanua pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping and drug trafficking charges in March 2020.
“This was not a random act of violence but a calculated act of savagery against another human being and a complete disregard for human life,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson, District of Alaska. “Mr. Vaifanua will serve the next five decades in federal prison where there is no possibility of parole. The citizens of Alaska will not tolerate drug trafficking and the violence that is an integral part of that activity. We will work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to ensure justice is served.”
“Such brutality and indifference to human life is unacceptable,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Adam Pierce of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “This vicious assault and kidnapping were criminal acts that happened in a residential neighborhood, a place where Alaskans should feel safe. Know that the FBI and our partners on the Safe Streets Task Force will always be relentless in our efforts to identify, locate and apprehend dangerous offenders who threaten the safety of our communities.”
“Violent crime will not be tolerated,” said Chief Kenneth McCoy with the Anchorage Police Department. “This investigation highlights the strength of our federal partnerships to keep violent offenders off the street.”
Co-defendants in this case are “Junior” Vaifanua, 35, Jeffrey Ahvan, 33, Rex Faumui, 28, and Tamole Lauina, 25. They are currently in custody awaiting their separate hearings.
The Anchorage Police Department (APD), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephan A. Collins and Adam Alexander prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.