A federal jury in Honolulu, Hawaii has found cousins Rodney Joseph Jr. of Waianae and Ethan Motta of Hilo guilty of racketeering involving the 2004 murders of two rival gangsters to control illegal gambling casinos on O'ahu:
A federal jury found both men guilty of all counts in the brazen Pali Golf Course shootings on Jan. 7, 2004, which left two men dead. Another man was critically wounded. They were also found guilty of operating an illegal gambling enterprise and racketeering. They face mandatory minimum life prison terms for the murders when they are sentenced in July. There is no parole in the federal system. Prosecutors said Motta, of Hilo, and Joseph, of Waianae, were part of a violent struggle for control of gambling operations on Oahu. * * * According to evidence and testimony the government presented during the trial, all of the men involved in the case, victims and assailants, were involved in illegal activity.
A third defendant, Kevin "Pancho" Gonsalves, previously pleaded guilty in return for a prison sentence of 27 1/2 years, and last year U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway rejected a plea deal for Joseph and Motta: "Mollway said in rejecting the deal that she didn't think the defendants had provided enough cooperation with the government to qualify for anything less than life sentences."