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Cops find drugs on an underage drinker who is now in custody

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On the night of Dec. 28, 2019, two cops observed John Tagai Jr., 20, spill a bag of Bongos on the ground after he and another male were pulled over at the Sobriety Checkpoint for an open container in the vehicle.

Tagai Jr was the passenger. (Samoa News is withholding the driver’s name, as he is yet to be criminally charged).

While Tagai Jr was dumping the Bongos, something thin and white fell out. A police officer went to pick it up and discovered that it was a half rolled cigarette joint that contained a green leafy substance.

Both Tagai Jr and the driver were taken in for questioning. The vehicle was also impounded but later released to Tagai Jr’s mother who was present during the interview.

When asked about the joint, Tagai Jr told police it belonged to him, that he bought it off a couple of guys in Papua, but he didn’t know their names, only that they usually walk around the area selling weed.

Tagai Jr told police there was nothing illegal in the vehicle. An inventory was carried out, in the presence of both Tagai Jr and his mother. Police found a rolled up cigarette containing a green leafy substance and a glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance in the vehicle.

The green leafy substance tested positive for marijuana and the white crystalline substance yielded positive results for meth.

According to the government, the marijuana joint was found under the driver’s seat while the glass pipe containing meth was discovered beneath the middle seat. Tagai Jr allegedly admitted to police that both the marijuana joint and the glass pipe belonged to him, and he bought the meth baggie from Le Aute earlier that day. Furthermore, he had been drinking and took two puffs of the marijuana joint.

Tagai Jr made his initial appearance in court last week where he waived his right to a preliminary examination. He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana - both felonies - and one count of underage drinking, a misdemeanor.

Bail is set at $10,000

During arraignment in High Court last week, Tagai Jr pled ‘not guilty’ to the charges against him. Pretrial conference is Feb. 7, 2020.