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Another alleged ‘aisa’ case bound over to High Court

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea has found probable cause to bind over to High Court, the government’s case against Anthony Filisi, who is expected to enter a ‘not guilty’ plea tomorrow morning at arraignment.

Filisi, who is still in custody, unable to post a $20,000 surety bond, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute; one count of unlawful possess of marijuana; and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute — all felonies.

During the preliminary examination last week, the government’s only witness, Lt. Abel Penitusi testified that drugs were found in a vehicle during a traffic stop in Iliili two weeks ago. He explained that on the night of May 2nd, police pulled over a vehicle in Iliili for speeding. Inside the vehicle were three people.

The driver was identified as defendant Anthony Filisi and the two passengers were adult females. All three were instructed to step out of the vehicle and according to the government’s witness, Filisi became disorderly and refused to comply with instructions when cops were trying to carry out a body search and when he was asked to take a Standardized Field Sobriety test.

Upon patting him down, police found on Filisi a small sized baggie full of a green leafy substance. An inventory of the vehicle netted a white container under the driver’s seat with several medium sized baggies, one of which contained small stamp-sized baggies with a green leafy substance. Several small baggies with a white crystalline substance were also found.

In the driver’s side door was a small baggie containing a white crystalline substance, and several empty baggies were found in a plastic container while other empty baggies were discovered on the floor under the passenger’s seat.

Cops also found a bag belonging to a female who was riding in the back seat of the vehicle. In the bag was a photo ID and a glass pipe containing a huge amount of a white crystalline substance. Both females were patted down — nothing was found on them.

The government’s witness said Filisi and one of the females were taken into custody for questioning, while the female who was sitting in the passenger seat was released at the scene.

During questioning, Filisi refused to talk. He was then booked and transferred to the TCF. The female agreed to speak with investigators regarding the drugs that allegedly were  found inside the bag containing her photo ID.

She told investigators that Filisi is her boyfriend and drugs and paraphernalia allegedly found inside the vehicle and the bag — all belong to Filisi. She further stated to investigators that she advised Filisi numerous times about his drug problem and that he needs to stop before something bad happens to him.

According to the female’s statement to police, they had just returned from an area called Le Filifili where Filisi purchased drugs from a man named “Spooh” with $500. They were on their way to Filisi’s home when police pulled over their vehicle for speeding.

The female further stated to investigators that she had nothing to do with the drugs found inside Filisi’s vehicle. After being interviewed by investigators, she was then released.

The white crystalline substance and the green leafy substance allegedly discovered on the suspect and in the vehicle tested positive for meth and marijuana, respectively.

Based on his training and experience, the government’s witness testified that the drugs found in Filisi possession and in the vehicle were not for personal use, but for sale.

During cross examination, defense attorney Bob Stuart asked the witness how he determined that the meth and marijuana allegedly found on his client were intended for sale. The government’s witness said the two baggies of methamphetamine and two marijuana joints are considered personal use amounts. Anything more than that would be considered for distribution.

Stuart argued that the drugs allegedly found on his client and in his vehicle were not for distribution, but for personal use.

Judge Patea said the court is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to bind the case against the defendant to High Court for further proceedings.