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4 men, empty beer cans — and drugs — found during traffic stop

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two men were arrested during a traffic stop last month. Both were booked and confined at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF). One is now charged while the other one was released when the 48 hour hold expired.

They are Daniel Faafiu, who is now officially charged while the other, Sefo Tuipine was released. Faafiu made his initial appearance in District Court last month.

Faafiu is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies punishable by imprisonment from 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both. His bail is set at $5,000.

Preliminary examination is scheduled for next week.


On Oct. 14th, 2021 about 2:20a.m, two police officers on the Western side of the island spotted a vehicle with no license plate light. The vehicle was stopped and empty beer cans were observed inside the vehicle, which had four occupants — the driver and three male passenger.

One of the officers approached the passenger sitting in the back seat first because he kept touching his shorts. He was later identified as Sefo Tuipine. The officer asked Tuipine to step out from the vehicle because he felt unsafe seeing him with his hands in his pockets.

Tuipine agreed and voluntarily stepped out from the vehicle with his hands still in his pants pocket. The officer told Tuipine to take his hands out from his pants pockets and asked him if he had anything in his pocket that might put them (officers) in any harm’s way.

Tuipine responded “No”. The officer then asked Tuipine to take out whatever was in his pocket.

According to the court affidavit, the officer asked Tuipine a couple of times and Tuipine responded that he had nothing inside his pants. The officer asked Tuipine for the fifth time to remove whatever was inside his pocket because it might be a weapon.

Tuipine then agreed that the officer could reach inside his pocket. The officer reached inside Tuipine’s back right pocket and discovered a plastic baggie with contents inside, a glass tube (glass pipe) and prescription glasses. The officer then asked Tuipine about the contents and Tuipine responded that it’s a pipe. The glass pipe found in Tuipine’s possession was clean, no residue was seen inside.

He was later released pending further investigation after he was questioned by investigators at the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS).

The officer then approached the passenger sitting in the front passenger seat, who identified himself as Daniel Faafiu. According to the officer Faafiu appeared to be moving around inside the vehicle like he was trying to hide something and he kept demanding that officers let him go home.

The officer then asked Faafiu to open the car door because there were also empty beer cans below where he was sitting.

The officer was standing facing Faafiu when Faafiu opened the door and that’s when the officer spotted a glass pipe commonly used to smoke drugs beneath his seat. When asked who owned the glass pipe, Faafiu told officers the glass pipe belonged to him.

The officer instructed Faafiu to step out of the vehicle and he agreed.

Officers conducted a body search on Faafiu and discovered two hand rolled marijuana joints, along with a small stamp-sized baggie containing meth.

The white crystalline substance contained in the glass pipe and small baggie tested positive for meth. The green leafy substance inside the two hand rolled joints tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Both men were placed under police custody and transported to the TPS for interviews.

When questioned about the empty glass pipe found in his possession, Tuipine stated that it was a glass pipe he found in the vehicle. Tuipine was later released to go home pending further investigation.

When questioned about the illegal substance found in his possession, Faafiu admitted to investigators that the illegal drugs belonged to him.

The driver was cited for several traffic violation and was later released to go home. Nothing was found inside his vehicle during an inventory search by police. The driver told investigators that he and his nephew (fourth male passenger) were riding on the road in the early hours of the day when Tuipine and his friend (Faafiu) flagged him down in front of the Veterans Memorial Stadium for a ride.

They were having a good time on the road that morning when police pulled his vehicle over for a traffic violation.