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Accused pot seller takes a plea bargain

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of selling hand rolled marijuana cigarettes to two men last year has entered into a plea agreement. Fiatamalii Tumau, 35, of Tafuna appeared in court last week for a pretrial conference but pled out instead.

Tumau, a carpenter, was initially charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute; and unlawful possession of marijuana. But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Tumau pled guilty to a lesser, amended charge, a class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

Tumau admits that on Aug. 19, 2020 in Tafuna, he sold 10 hand rolled marijuana joints — for $10 apiece — to three men he claims are his regular customers.

The case was reported to police by a woman, who found a marijuana joint in her husband’s pocket. A verbal argument erupted between the couple, and it ended with the woman telling police that Tumau is her husband’s cousin, and he’s been selling drugs in the village for years — but nobody has reported it to police out of fear of Tumau and his family.

A search of Tumau’s home and plantation was carried out, where police found drugs, firearms, and drug paraphernalia.

Tumau, who is out on a $5,000 surety bond, will be sentenced May 20th.