Another traffic stop nets drugs — defendant says he got it at Le Filifili
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 42-year-old man who was pulled over for a traffic violation is being criminally charged, after police allegedly found illegal drugs in his possession.
Ameperosa Leota appeared in court last week for a traffic citation, he was ordered to return to court on Monday of this week for a status hearing.
When Leota showed up in court, he was served with an arrest warrant, attached to an affidavit supporting two felony charges against him.
Leota is charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine; and unlawful possession of marijuana, both class D felonies, punishable by a jail term of 5-10 years and a fine of $5,000-$20,000.
If he is able to post a $5,000 bond, Leota is ordered to comply with standard conditions, including not making any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses, and not leaving the territory.
Preliminary examination is set for Friday next week, June 12th.
The government claims that around 7 p.m., on May 28th, police received information regarding a person named “Amber” who had just threatened a couple in front of the Veterans Stadium by telling them that he would kill both of them if they continued to spread rumors about him (Leota) selling illegal drugs from his home.
Amber is the nickname for Ameperosa Leota, the defendant in this matter.
According to the individual who called police, Amber was sitting in the passenger seat while a female was the driver of the vehicle.
After the vehicle was spotted and pulled over by police, Leota was immediately placed under arrest and was transported to Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning.
Before Leota was transported to the police station, police conducted the standard body search.
During the body search, police discovered two small stamp-size baggies containing white crystalline substance in his left pocket. Also found inside Leota’s right pocket were two hand rolled marijuana cigarettes.
When questioned by police, Leota admitted that the illegal drugs found in his possession belong to him. He told police that he bought these illegal drugs from a man who was selling at a place called Le Filifili in Vaitogi two days prior.
Regarding the allegation that he made threatening remarks to a couple at the Veterans stadium, Leota admitted it and told police that he was disappointed when that couple spread rumors in their village saying that he was selling drugs from his home.
According to Leota’s statement to police, “I’m not a drug dealer, I’m a drug user.”
In 2014, Leota was convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana, and subsequently sentenced to 5 years probation under the condition that he serve 20 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF). His probation term ended last year.