Defendant in armed drug raid enters into plea agreement
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — One of the three defendants arrested after armed detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit executed two search warrants earlier this year in June in Petesa and Tafuna has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Sui Tago Jr, who has been in custody since his arrest — unable to post a $5,000 cash bond — appeared in High Court yesterday morning for a Change of Plea hearing. He was represented by Public Defender Michael White, while prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey.
Tago Jr, 40, was originally charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine, a felony punishable by not less than five or more than ten years in jail, and a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $20,000, or both.
However, in a plea agreement with the government, Tago Jr pled guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine. With his guilty plea, Tago Jr admits that on June 28, 2018 he unlawfully possessed a baggie which contained meth.
According to terms of the plea agreement, the government claims that in June, when several police detectives executed a search warrant on a white pickup truck that was parked in front of a store in Tafuna, 3 men were inside the truck, and one of them was Tago Jr..
During a body search of Tago Jr, officers discovered a baggie containing meth in his front right pocket.
When asked what the baggie contained, Tago Jr said it was ice (aisa). He told police that the three of them inside the truck had gone to Vaitogi to deliver meth to another person earlier that day, and the person had bought $100 worth of meth from the owner of the truck, who was later identified as Misi Suia, one of the co-defendants in this case.
Tago Jr also told police that he had seen a lot of money and meth inside Siua’s black pouch while he was inside Siua’s vehicle. He added that the baggie that was in his pocket was given to him by Siua, free of charge. He said he helped Siua sell meth for 4 months before they were caught, and Siua would sell the substance from his home in Petesa, or deliver meth if people didn't come to his home.
Tago Jr’s plea agreement was accepted by the court and sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28 at 8:30a.m.
The cases against the other two co-defendants in this case, Misi Siua and Henry O’Brien, are still pending in High Court, and they are scheduled to appear in court next month for their pretrial conference.
Siua is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine with intent to distribute; and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine - both class D felonies.
Siua is still in custody unable to post a $15,000 cash bond, while O’Brien was released on a $2,000 surety bond.