Court Report: Alcohol and drugs involved in numerous cases heard last week
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was charged with disturbing the public peace (PPD) after he allegedly shouted threats and the Samoan War Cry (faaumuumu) at the Bowling Alley last month.
Patrick Vailoa made his initial appearance in court last month where he is scheduled to appear again next month for his pretrial conference.
The government claims that on Aug. 30, a couple standing outside at the Bowling Alley in Tafuna called police to report individuals fighting in the Bowling Alley parking lot. Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the security guard, who reported that Vailoa was shouting threats and doing the Samoan War Cry (fa’aumuumu).
Vailoa and his companions were reported to have approached individuals from the Petesa area and a fight was close to breaking out. Several people tried to break up the arguments, only Vailoa did not cooperate, but continued to shout threats and statements such as “nobody in this world can face me” and “this is not over because I will find you all.”
Security guards could not stop the commotion because Vailoa continued to call out to the other group to come back next week “so they can finish this.” According to security, this went on for about an hour.
Tuvale was released on his own recognizance waiting his next hearing, which is scheduled for next month
A man was arrested for domestic violence on the allegation that he assaulted his long-time partner. When police officers arrived at the couple’s home, the partner directed police to the location where the defendant had planted a small marijuana plant.
According to the government’s case, it was on Aug. 29, 2021 when the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a woman who reported that her boyfriend had allegedly assaulted her. The boyfriend was later identified as Valaau Luki, the defendant in this case.
Several police officers responded to the scene and met up with the woman who reported the alleged domestic violence. After explaining to police what happened, the woman then told police that her boyfriend possesses illegal drugs, a small marijuana plant at the back of the house. She then directed police to the location where the marijuana plant was located.
Police went to the side of the house and observed a marijuana plant about 3 ft growing there. Police removed the plant and took it to the TPS for further investigation.
Part of the plant was tested and the result revealed that the plant contained THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), a compound commonly found in marijuana. The defendant was transported to the TPS for further investigation.
After being Mirandized, the defendant agreed to make a statement to police. He stated that the plant does not belong to him, it belongs to his uncle and his family who used to live in the house before they moved in. The defendant continued to deny that the plant belongs to him. He told investigators that it’s been only three weeks since he moved into the house with his partner and two young children.
Luki made his initial appearance in court last month.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, a felony. Bail is set at $5,000.
During his initial appearance, Luki asked for a preliminary examination (PX), which was then scheduled for last week Thursday.
During the PX, the government called their only witness to the stand, who is the lead investigator in this matter. The statement by the government’s witness was based on the information contained in the affidavit.
In cross-examination the defense attorney asked the witness about the height of the plant. The witness said, it was between 3 feet high.
The defense attorney then asked the witness if he knew who owns the land where the plant was allegedly found.
The witness responded that according to the statement given to him by the defendant’s wife, they only live at the house.
“So my client doesn’t own the house and the property?” defense attorney asked the witness.
The witness replied, “yes”.
When asked by the defense attorney about how old the plant was, the witness responded by saying that the growth of the plant depends on how the person cares for the plant. The witness further stated that if the person cares for the plant well, the plant grows fast, but if the person does not take care of the plant well, the plant grows slowly.
After hearing evidence in the case, the court found probable cause to bind the case over to the High Court.
Luki entered a not guilty plea to the single count against him during his arraignment last month. His pretrial conference is set for next month.
A male passenger arrested for consuming alcohol in an aiga bus last month is now charged with violating local drug laws when police allegedly found drugs in his possession. Sitivi Agasii made his initial appearance in Court last month.
Agasii is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
During his initial appearance the defense attorney informed the court that his client requested a preliminary examination (PX).
On Aug. 22nd, 2021, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a distress phone call from a female individual asking for police assistance regarding some male passengers who were consuming alcohol in an aiga bus heading west on the Faleniu public highway.
Two police units that were on patrol responded and initiated a vehicle stop in front of a store in the Pavaiai area. An inspection was conducted and several male passengers were observed in possession of open alcohol containers. These passengers were removed from the bus and handcuffed.
One of the passengers cuffed by police was identified as Sitivi Agasii, the defendant in this case. Before the passengers were transported to the TPS for further investigation, they were patted down for weapons and illegal drugs.
During the pat down, Agasili was discovered to have a glass pipe containing white crystalline residue in his pocket. Agasii and the other passengers were then transported to TPS, and the bus was also impounded to the TPS for further investigation.
The seized evidence from Agasii was tested and the results revealed the white crystalline substance was positive for meth.
Aga was Mirandized after which he informed investigators that he understood his rights and wished to make a statement regarding the glass pipe found in his possession.
According to Agasili’s statement to investigators, a friend of his (Agasii could not remember his/her name) gave him the glass pipe. He further stated the friend handed him the pipe and told him “mea ga e pa ai au fika” (translation: do what you want to do with it).
The female driver of a vehicle pulled over by police last month in Leone for blacked out tail lights is now charged with violating local drug laws.
On Sept. 24, 2021 about 12 midnight, a vehicle was pulled over by traffic officers at the Leone Public Highways due to blacked out tail lights. Officers approached the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as Windy Eteuati, the defendant in this matter. According to the government, Eteuati did not possess a driver’s license nor did she have any sort of identification on her. She was told that the vehicle would be impounded to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) because she didn’t have a driver’s license.
A pat down of the driver was conducted at the scene by a female police officer, and a glass pipe with some white residue inside it, was found in her left pants pocket.
The white residue inside the glass pipe was tested later utilizing a field test, and yielded positive results for methamphetamine (meth).
The case was then transferred to the DPS Vice and Narcotics/K9 Unit to handle because illegal drugs were allegedly involved.
During the traffic stop, a young female of about six years old was observed sitting in the passenger’s seat.
When asked about the glass pipe containing meth, Eteuati told investigators that she was on her way to drop off her daughter to her sister’s house in Vailoa when her vehicle was pulled over by police. She also saw a glass pipe, and because she was so nervous and scared, she grabbed it and put it in her pants pocket.
Officers recognized that this was the same vehicle and the same driver officers pulled over two months ago and paraphernalia were discovered in the vehicle. However, no drugs were found inside the vehicle at the time.
Eteuati made her initial appearance in District Court last month.
Eteuati is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
During Eteuati’s initial proceedings, her defense attorney informed the court that the defendant wished to have a preliminary examination (PX).