Families of armed robbery suspects could be evicted from public housing

The three teenagers arrested for a string of armed bank robberies on Oahu appeared in federal court Wednesday. Two of them face multiple charges that have a maximum penalty of 20 years for each count.

Because the proceedings occurred in federal court, KHON2 could not obtain any new video or photos of the suspects.

Authorities arrested Marcus Watson and A.J. Williander at Honolulu International Airport Tuesday, while Rogussia Danielson was arrested at Halawa public housing.

The FBI says all three suspects had been staying at Halawa housing when they committed these crimes, which has prompted housing officials to investigate whether their families should be evicted.

KHON2 spoke with Hakim Ouansafi, executive director of Hawaii Public Housing Authority, who says he doesn’t have to wait for a court trial to decide if the families should be evicted.

When the FBI and HPD’s SWAT team arrested Danielson, investigators went inside some of the apartments looking for evidence. The Hawaii Public Housing Authority will be looking at HPD reports to see if any of the families living in those apartments broke public housing rules.

“Bringing in stolen property and keeping it in public housing is considered a crime and a violation at the least and will call for severe punishment for the family who’s allowed that to happen,” Ouansafi said.

That punishment is eviction, and other violations like harboring a criminal can also get families evicted.

Of the three suspects, Williander is the only one legally living in Halawa housing with his family, which is now under investigation for possible violations.

Danielson was living there with his family until he went to prison two years ago. The housing authority is investigating because his family because might have been letting him stay there.

Watson, supposedly the ringleader of the group, didn’t actually live in Halawa housing, but officials are looking into whether a family let him stay at their apartment. If so, that family will also be evicted.

“Any family that had any of these individuals in their house will be in violation of our lease agreement. If there are weapons that were used in the bank robbery, we have some severe concern for our tenants and we will go full speed ahead, not only for eviction but an expedited eviction,” Ouansafi said.

Up to three families can get evicted and that expedited eviction can happen within five days.

Ouansafi says public housing rules are strict because they have to be. Tenants pay a small portion of the rent and in some cases none at all. Taxpayers cover the rest.

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