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Another meth charge, another plea

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of having a glass pipe containing meth in his possession when police pulled over a vehicle he was riding in last year has pled guilty to an amended count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine.

Filipo Malaki, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $10,000 bond, appeared in High Court for a Change of Plea hearing.

Malaki was initially charged with resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), both felonies. However, under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Malaki pled guilty to the amended, lesser charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

With his guilty plea, Malaki admits that on the night of Aug. 17, 2018 he unlawfully possessed a glass pipe containing meth. He also admits that on the night of the incident, he ran from the police after he knew he was in possession of illegal drugs.

As part of the plea agreement, both parties agreed to recommend a probated sentence without any further period of detention. Sentencing is set for Aug. 23, 2019

Malaki was a passenger of a truck that was pulled over for defective lights. While cops were speaking to the driver, Malaki, who was on the passenger side, opened his door and fled the scene. While he was running, cops saw Malaki trying to reach inside his pocket to get rid of something.