Court Report: More drug, alcohol and PPD cases
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested during a traffic stop last week is now facing felony charges for violating local drug laws.
Thirty-nine year old, Konelio Williams appeared in court last week for his initial appearance.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both felonies; along with one count of prohibited place of consumption; one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of resisting arrest, both class A misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $10,000.
On Oct. 25th, 2020 about 6:25 p.m, a vehicle was pulled over for speeding by police patrolling the Malaeimi area. Two males were inside the vehicle, the driver was later identified as Konelio Williams, the defendant in this matter and a male passenger who was sitting in the rear passenger seat behind the driver’s seat.
While speaking with Williams, officers observed an open bottle of beer beside William’s seat.
When asked about the open beer container, Williams told police that the open beer container belonged to his uncle who owned the vehicle. He told police that his uncle had been drinking inside the vehicle while the vehicle was parked outside of their house and the reason why he drove the vehicle was to buy more beer for his uncle.
When instructed by officers to step outside of the vehicle, Williams refused. He told officers that they needed to call his uncle to confirm his statement. Again, Williams was instructed to exit the vehicle but the suspect continued to ignore the officers’ instruction. He continued to stay inside the vehicle.
Officers then opened the driver’s door and pulled Williams out of the vehicle while the suspect was trying to pushed officers away from him. Officers placed handcuffs on the suspect and immediately placed him inside a police unit.
Before Williams was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for further investigation, he was patted down and officers discovered a small pouch in his rear pocket.
When asked what was inside the pouch, Williams shook his head and said, “That’s why I refused to exit the vehicle because you don’t have the right to search me. You’re violating my constitutional rights with an illegal search.”
Officers again asked Williams what was inside the black pouch, and he replied in a low voice, “It’s stuff that belongs to me and it’s for my own personal use.” When asked about what “stuff” he was referring to, Williams replied, “it’s illegal drugs.”
Officers opened the pouch and discovered a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke methamphetamine) containing white crystalline substance, along with a small baggie containing green leafy substance.
Williams was then transported to the TPS and detectives from the Vice & Narcotics Unit were notified regarding the illegal drugs allegedly discovered during the traffic stop.
Regarding the illegal drugs, Williams told investigators that he met a man at the Fagatogo market two days prior to the incident and the man told him to come over to his house in Vaitogi if he wanted to buy drugs. Williams provided to investigators the location of the house when he bought drugs and also the description of the man.
Investigators also questioned the male passenger who was in the vehicle with the suspect. The passenger corroborated Williams’s statement, saying on their way back home, Williams told him that the black pouch contained illegal drugs. The passenger was released pending further investigation.
A man who was on probation for a drug conviction is now back in custody after he allegedly tested positive for marijuana during his monthly visit at the Probation Office 3 weeks ago.
Apesena Faatali appeared in court last week for his initial appearance and his Preliminary Examination (PX) is set for next month. In the meantime, he’s remanded back into custody without bond.
According to court documents, when the defendant went to see his probation officer for his monthly visit, he was informed he would need to take a drug test, the results of which turned out positive for marijuana.
Despite the positive result from the drug test, Faatali continued to deny that he had smoked marijuana.
Two years ago in 2018, the defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and for stealing from his grandmother and using the proceeds to buy drugs. While the defendant was in custody awaiting the outcome of his case, his grandmother passed away.
Last week, the court sentenced Ameperosa Tafili to 10 days behind bars, after being convicted for public peace disturbance (PPD) while on probation.
He was on probation for 6 months after he was convicted last year for PPD, a class B misdemeanor. One of the many conditions of probation included keeping the peace with his girlfriend and remaining law abiding.
In the beginning of this year, police re-arrested him on another PPD charge for which he was convicted this week, the same date he was sentenced to 10 days incarceration for violating his 12-month probation. Tafili will have to spend 5 weekends in jail to cover his 10-day detention period.
He was ordered to report to jail on Fridays at 6 p.m. and would be released on Sundays at 6 p.m. starting this weekend, until the first weekend of Dec. 2020.
Tafili was arrested during a public disturbance in Ottoville where he and his friends were involved in a fight with other young men from the neighborhood. He was loud and yelled profanities while holding a beer bottle in his hand.