As Drug Investigation Continues, Nine Defendants Appear in Court

Friday, October 25 2013

Police seized drugs, firearms, and cash as evidence. / Courtesy of UDPS

The nine men who were arrested this week in Unalaska and charged with felony drug offenses have made their first appearances in court.

On Friday afternoon, police led Lua Aiava, 28, Allan Bautista, 44, Neuthon Costantini, 28, Ioane Faasavalu, 25, Tofa Matautia, 28, Ernie Oxinio, 30, Brandon Rosa, 21, Tyson Rosa, 24, and Stephen A. Rosa, 49, into the Unalaska courthouse.

The court gallery was packed with more than 20 friends, family, and members of the public.

Magistrate judge Kay Adams reviewed the cases by phone from Cordova. Based on charging documents filed by the Unalaska police department, Adams found probable cause to allow all of the cases to proceed.

Adams set bail for all nine defendants with input from assistant district attorney Aaron Peterson, who also participated in the hearing by phone.

The lowest bail was $10,000 for Oxinio, who is charged with one count of a class B felony for allegedly possessing methamphetamine with intent to sell it. Several defendants’ bail was set at $50,000, with a required third-party custodian. 

But the highest bail requirements by far were those for Stephen A. Rosa. Rosa faces the most serious charges of the group. He's accused of operating ”a continuing criminal enterprise” involving the sale of meth.

The state alleges that in the course of six weeks, Costantini, Faasavalu, Bautista, Rosa, and his sons -- Brandon and Tyson -- all sold meth to a confidential police informant.

Stephen A. Rosa is accused of supplying the meth for those sales, which were valued at about $3,000. Police say they recovered about $40,000 in cash from Stephen A. Rosa’s home and workplace, along with several firearms.

The state combined all those offenses into the unclassified felony charge, which carries a sentence of up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Stephen A. Rosa is being charged with 13 additional felonies for associated offenses ranging from allegedly selling meth, to illegally possessing guns despite being a convicted felon.

Like many of the other defendents, Rosa requested a court-appointed attorney at the hearings on Friday.

“I don’t think I can afford an attorney now," Rosa said. "I’m not this bigshot you guys think I am.”

Rosa was employed as a property manager at Tradewinds Apartments and a as truck driver for Radiant Heating Fuel Services before he was arrested. Rosa declared his annual income at around $35,000, which exceeds the state's usual threshold for public defender services.

Peterson, the state attorney, encouraged the judge to assign an attorney anyways. He said Rosa requires immediate legal counsel.

The magistrate ultimately agreed. Adams told Rosa that his unclassified felony charge is "one of the maximum ranges of crimes that can be committed in Alaska. This is right below murder, to be honest with you."

Adams signed off on the request for a public defender and set Rosa’s bail at $100,000 with a mandatory third-party custodian.

All nine defendants are scheduled to appear in court again on October 31 at 10 a.m. for pre-indictment hearings.

In the meantime, Unalaska police are still serving search warrants in connection with the investigation. By the end of the week, the department had served 20 warrants and expected to execute more in the coming days.

Public safety director Jamie Sunderland says he expects additional charges -- and possibly arrests -- to result from those searches.

Sundlerland encourages anyone with information about drug sales in Unalaska to contact police. 

Dorkman on Wednesday, November 06 2013:

When you look into the mirror do you see a superman or a humble man because those who set themselves upon pedestals are destined to trip and fall and how humiliating to the professor of all that is good when his tenure isn't picked up for lack of publication and you sir do not qualify with your soapbox portrayal here of right and wrong. Of course the safety of children is most important but you madam are a tattletale.

Just Curious on Wednesday, November 06 2013:

I suppose, Dorkman, if your “alternative green persona" were to include a bit of criminal activity (anti UPD sanctioned behavior), especially that which compromised the health and welfare of children, as defined in a variety of Alaska Statutes and not just my opinion, you might not want to come to my house for dinner.

DorkmanII on Tuesday, November 05 2013:

So, Just Curious, if I'm the type of, let's say "quote unquote" person, to be invited to your house for dinner, and say, just say, that my "persona" is, to you, a bit alternative, shall we say "green" then I'd better run for cover cuz you're coming after me in a court of law, right?

Just Curious on Thursday, October 31 2013:

So, Dorkman, if I'm understanding your code of conduct in regards to "anti-UPD sanctioned behavior" kids should just deal with living in the chaotic, abusive, soul destroying environment and continue perpetuating a family illness whether it be drug, alcohol, sexual, physical, emotional abuse?

If I want to be an adult with integrity and ethics; I owe it to my neighbors, family, and anyone I've ever said "hi" to, to stay quiet, not interfere, to not act with courage, to not do the right thing because being honest, wanting to help, and giving a voice to someone (child or adult) who doesn't have one, at any given moment, is disloyal to the perpetrator?

I'm giving you the benefit of doubt that you are applying your conduct standards straight across the board to all "anti-UPD sanctioned behavior", also known as criminal behavior, and not just implying, rationalizing, and justifying a warped sense of honor and integrity to adhere to in regards to drug related activity.

Do you want to be part of the problem or the solution?

Being part of the solution may require you to open your mind to the fact that you may be operating on some faulty information and may need to take action to create positive change for yourself, your fellow humans, and your community.

Being part of the problem will require you to just keep doing what you're doing.

Ball's in your court.

Dorkman on Wednesday, October 30 2013:

Oh thank you so much UPD and will you be hiring another narc with our tax dollars? Don't forget kids turn your parents in if you have the slightest hint they are involved in anti-UPD sanctioned behavior (does not include fooling around behind people's backs, gossiping or hubris) and adults do NOT let a personal relationship or loyalty stand in the way of informing UPD on your neighbors.

A thankful community member on Tuesday, October 29 2013:

Addiction is a preventable, treatable disease, not a moral failing. As with other illnesses, the approaches most likely to work are based on science — not on faith, tradition, contrition, or wishful thinking. Author of 'Clean' David Sheff.
This is a great book to educate yourself on drugs and alcohol.
Thank you UPD for cleaning up our town.

Encrypto on Tuesday, October 29 2013:

'This thread is supposed to be about drugs not alcohol' boo hoo hoo games over the game is on alcohol is a drug cry baby and 99 years for selling a little speed? Just below murder? Get real whiner.

Games Over. on Tuesday, October 29 2013:

This thread is supposed to be related to the drug bust not alcohol abuse. Drugs are illegal for a reason and many other crimes go hand in hand with drugs like heroine and meth. Prostitution, burglery, robbery, credit fraud, Etc..
I agree that alcohol can also be dangerous. I have seen UPD outside the sportsbar countless times telling drunks not to drive home and take a taxi.
Bottom line is that steve and his crew have been selling drugs for way too long in this town and im sure that crime will decline now that they are behind bars. In any town in america steve would have been considered a public enemy and in cops targets....

human being and non customer/user on Tuesday, October 29 2013:

Think about this one;

Experts: Alcohol More Harmful Than Crack or Heroin

Substance Abuse Ranked According to Harm to User and Society

games over! on Monday, October 28 2013:

Obviously there are some of steves ex customers posting their drug induced opinion on this thread. Meth, guns and more in cash than he claimed to make in an entire year. This should not be about poor steve. I know several people in this town that have been ruined by drugs. Family members of these drug addicts are thanking god that that a bid source of our problem has been caught. A good friend of mine died due to a gunshot wound to the head a few years back in this town. It was meth and oxy related. Wake up people enough is enough!

99 years... Really?! on Monday, October 28 2013:

Child molesters and rapists get less time than whats expected with S. Rosa, so remind me again why is he getting a sentence that is only second to a life sentence?

jealous much!!!! on Monday, October 28 2013:

re: "want those guns on".. seriously!!!! jealous much... just becoz that person has a new Harley or ten vehicles... really!!! does it comes to sense that he bought those items for less then u think its worth.. come on!!! its dutch!!! u can buy 3 to 4 in a yr with the good money we get in dutch... just becoz u dont know how to save doesnt mean u have to trash others... hes still human.. like u n i...

human being on Sunday, October 27 2013:

"99 years in prison" and these charges are; "right below murder" man that doesn't seem right or fair to me.

A few years back a local meth dealer was busted and sent to prison for 2 years. 2 years is enough. He learned his lesson and came out a better guy. imho

Concerned Citizen on Saturday, October 26 2013:

Who's the hottie standing next Sunderland?!

Wow, you people make no sense on Saturday, October 26 2013:

You are all delusional... "Not defending... But.." This has nothing to do with rent in Dutch Harbor for crying out loud. "Been affected" You make absolutely no sense. WTF, self esteem? Your job has something to do with the way your kid is treated in school or how they act towards other people? What are you even talking about? Man these comments are so funny to read, you people don't make any sense.

Been Affected on Saturday, October 26 2013:

My son went to school here. He was not treated very nicely at the school and I know it is because it depends on who a student has as a parent or relative how that student is treated. I am a good parent but I was not a nurse or police chief or director or the part of the city. That is too bad. It needs to stop so all students can feel like they have a chance to succeed. What does this have to do with this article? A person's self esteem.

Hoping for change on Saturday, October 26 2013:

Hey "Concerned parent", does it make you feel good to anonymously call these men scum? Lets try and remember that each of them are a father, brother, son or friend. Maybe instead of people writing negative comments on each of these articles, our town should come together to make a difference. Unalaska desperately needs more programs in our schools to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and more options for drug addicts and alcoholics to have a chance at recovery. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families effected.

I agree & same thought as the person under me . on Saturday, October 26 2013:

That person below me is right though .

Not defending... But... on Saturday, October 26 2013:

I'm not in defense for any of this just to make it clear. But in my own opinion if rent wasn't so high out here, it wouldn't push certain people into this kind of activity. I mean average rent is what 1500-2000, hell if I could get away with it I would be selling myself in order to provide for my family. But in reality that's the saddest thing about this situation is that majority of these guys are family men, and its hard to see a family in turmoil after something happens like this, because believe me I've been there. And while everyone out here is saying oh good job this and good job that, in the end nothing will change, its just a matter of time before someone else starting selling and distributing out here... only a matter of time, I'm sure it's happened before.

Concerned parent on Saturday, October 26 2013:

The photo scares the crap out of me. I have family living at the Tradewinds, and knowing those sweet babies were spitting distance from those weapons makes me so angry. Thank you UPD for taking steps towards ridding out community of these drug dealing scum.
Great pic of Bill, Mike and Jamie!

Encouraged! on Friday, October 25 2013:

Go UPD, GO!! Keep up the good work and efforts.

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