VISTA (CNS) - Five men accused of holding up several people outside a San Marcos house party last weekend pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three counts each of robbery, including gang allegations, and assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
Sam Niu, 21, Gregg Leauanae, 20, Johnnie Edwards, 18, Judd Liulamaga, 18, and Mautofu Maiava, 19, allegedly committed the robberies early Saturday.
All expect Maiava -- who has a prior robbery conviction -- were ordered held on $1 million bail.
Maiava -- who was also charged with personal use of a gun -- had his bail set at $1.25 million.
Party guests told deputies that five men robbed them at gunpoint outside the house at 505 Honeyglen Dr. at 2:50 a.m. on Saturday, according to San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Allan Paez. They provided a detailed description of the suspects and a vehicle that was radioed to other units.
"A short time later, deputies in Vista located the suspect vehicle, occupied by five suspects, at 955 Postal Way," Paez said. "Deputies conducted a high-risk felony vehicle stop and successfully took the suspects into custody."
A search of the vehicle turned up the property seized in the robbery and the gun used by the robbers, he said, adding,"A curbside lineup was conducted and all of the suspects were positively identified by the victims as the robbers."
Niu, Leauanae, Edwards and Liulamaga face nearly 24 years in prison if convicted.
Maiava faces more than 48 years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Jon Oliphant.
The defendants will be back in court April 19 for a readiness conference and on April 24 for a preliminary hearing.
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