Another domestic abuse defendant found with meth and pot upon arrest
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was arrested last month on the allegation that he assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her with a machete was allegedly found with drugs in his pocket when he was apprehended. Moreover, the defendant has a two year old warrant for his arrest for a drug violation.
The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court last month.
The government filed two separate criminal cases against the defendant who will not be named in order to protect the privacy of his wife and family, who are the victims in this matter.
In the first case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years, a fine or not less than $5,000 not more than $20,000, or both; along with one count of 2nd degree assault (involving domestic violence) and one count of 1st degree abuse of a child (involving domestic violence), both class D felonies.
In the second case, the defendant is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and the unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, both felonies.
Bail is set at $25,000.
On Nov. 12th, 2021 around 7:34p.m, a woman contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) requesting assistance for her sister and her sister’s children who had been assaulted at their home in Kokoland. The caller told police that she’s concerned for her sister’s safety because the husband allegedly threatened to kill her and their whole family. The husband was apparently armed with a machete at the house.
Shortly thereafter, the same woman contacted TPS again and informed them that she’s parked in front of her sister’s house in Kokoland and she heard a male’s voice shouting from inside the house.
When asked by police who is inside the house, the caller said it was her sister, her sister’s husband (defendant) and their children. The caller further told police that when she arrived at the house, her sister’s husband opened the front door of the house and called out to her not to set foot inside his house.
Responding to the call, officers knocked on the house door and a woman, who was later identified as the victim, opened the door and asked police to come inside.
According to the victim’s statement to police, she was cutting grass at the back of their house that afternoon when she heard her kids crying. She was shocked when her husband approached her in an angry manner telling her to give him the machete, but she didn’t.
So her husband left and walked back to the house. Moments later, he walked back to her with a machete in his right hand and attempted to swing at her to try and intimidate her to give him the machete she was using to cut grass behind the house.
The woman told her husband she was using the machete to clean the back yard, but her husband insisted and instructed his wife to give him the machete but she refused. That’s when the husband pushed his wife causing her to fall down before he grabbed the machete from her.
The wife stood up and told her husband she’s going to call the police and grabbed her phone but the defendant managed to grab her from the back trying to take the phone away from her. While scuffing with her husband, she fainted and fell to the ground. She regained consciousness, when her neighbor and her daughter splashed water on her trying to wake her up.
The defendant came outside of the house and walked towards the road with the machete and yelled out to his wife that her brother was going to get it. He said he was going to cut her brother’s head off because he bothered their family too much.
Police interviewed the neighbor about what happened. According to the neighbor, the defendant was angry with his wife’s family. The defendant came home and assaulted his 10-year-old son by punching and slapping him on the back of his head. Furthermore, the defendant used both of his hands to try and strangle his wife while she was lying on the ground.
Police were unable to locate the defendant. On the following morning the defendant’s wife contacted the TPS and informed investigators that her husband (defendant) was at home sleeping in his room.
Officers went to the defendant’s house and were able to apprehend him. Before the defendant was taken into custody, he was patted down for weapons.
During a body search, cops discovered a glass pipe in the defendant’s pocket containing white crystalline substance. In a further search of the defendant, cops also found two small stamp sized baggies containing green leafy substance in his rear pocket.
The defendant was Mirandized and he agreed to make a statement to police about what happened.
The defendant admitted to threatening his wife with the machete to try to intimidate her to give him the machete she was holding. He also admitted slapping his son and making threatening remarks to his wife’s family.
Furthermore, the defendant admitted that he attempted to strangle his wife and threatened to kill her family — including cutting her brother’s head off.
When questioned about the drugs found in his pocket, the defendant told investigators that drugs found on him were bought from a man who is his regular dealer.
When the defendant’s name was entered into the police database, it raised a red flag about an outstanding warrant on unlawful possession charges.
When question by the investigator he was asked if he remembered an incident back in February 2019 where drugs were allegedly found in his vehicle when it was pulled over by police. The defendant told investigators that he remembered an incident where marijuana was found inside his vehicle, but he was never charged in that matter.
On Feb. 18th, 2019 police stopped a truck in Tafuna for speeding and the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. During the stop, officers observed several empty small baggies commonly used to package meth under the passenger’s seat.
The vehicle was impounded and cops later found a clear glass pipe containing white crystalline substance on the vehicle’s back seat. In addition, two glass pipes containing a crystalline substance, one cut up straw with white crystalline substance inside, along with several empty small baggies were also discovered on the passenger side of the vehicle. Cops also discovered 3 hand rolled marijuana cigarettes in his pocket.
Three other people were also in the vehicle with the defendant, who was also the driver of the truck. The three passengers were two males and one female — the female was identified as the defendant’s girlfriend.
During the course of the investigation, the defendant’s girlfriend told police that drugs found inside the vehicle belonged to the defendant. She further stated that she knew nothing about the drugs but the reason why she knew that the drugs belonged to her boyfriend (defendant) was that on their way to Tafuna before they were pulled over by police, she heard him talking on the phone with someone discussing drugs that needed to be delivered to another man in the Tafuna area.
When questioned by police, the defendant denied any knowledge of the drugs and contraband found in the vehicle. He told police that the vehicle belonged to his uncle who is stranded off-island. So, his uncle’s friend borrowed the car and used it for over two weeks. He told police, he had just picked up the vehicle from his uncle’s friend’s house.
He further stated that he never checked the inside of the vehicle when he got into it. He was just driving home without any knowledge that there were drugs inside.
When investigators mentioned his telephone conversation with another person while his girlfriend was listening — where they talked about drugs — the defendant denied the conversation took place.
The white crystalline substance in the clear glass pipe discovered in the vehicle netted positive results for meth while the green leafy substance in the three hand cigarettes tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
The defendant was released to go home after he was questioned by investigators pending further investigation.