Senior United States District Judge Helen Gillmor yesterday sentenced Joshua Leiataua, 30, of Waianae, Hawaii, to 137 months imprisonment for robbery and attempted carjacking. He also received 120 months imprisonment, to be served concurrently with the 137 month-sentence, for possessing ammunition as a felon.
U.S. Attorney Clare E. Connors stated that, according to court documents and information presented in court, on April 5, 2020, Leiataua entered a mini mart in Waipahu, brandished a firearm at the cashier, and demanded money. When the cashier was unable to open the register, Leiataua stole cartons of cigarettes and other items at gunpoint.
Approximately one month later, on May 13, 2020, Leiataua and Shanice Faalogo attempted to steal a vehicle from two individuals in Waianae at gunpoint. On that date, Leiataua approached the male victim who was standing just outside of the vehicle, brandished a firearm at the victim, and demanded that he give up the vehicle. Faalogo then took the firearm from Leiataua and discharged it in the direction of the male victim up in the air above him. Leiataua threw the female victim out of the vehicle by her hair. When Leiataua and Faalogo attempted to start the vehicle, they discovered the vehicle’s battery was dead and fled the scene.
At sentencing, Senior U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor commented that Leiataua’s criminal conduct—involving “violence and firearms”—and criminal history show a “lack of respect for the law.” Faalogo previously pleaded guilty to the attempted carjacking and is awaiting sentencing.
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 works 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.
The case was investigated by the Honolulu Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara D. Ayabe.