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Defendants plea to probation violations and conspiracy

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who failed to comply with conditions of his 5-year probation has been given another chance. Probationer Foleni Motu was arrested Friday, Aug. 6th after he tested positive for marijuana.

Motu appeared in court last month for a preliminary hearing, where he admitted that he failed to comply with conditions of his probation, which required him to be drug and alcohol free. According to Probation, a random urinalysis on Motu administered Aug. 6th at the District Court came back positive for weed.  Motu admitted to Probation that he smoked weed at his son’s birthday party the night before.

Motu appeared in court last week for a Disposition Hearing, where his attorney Rob McNeill asked the court not to revoke his client’s probation but instead, allow him to continue on probation. He said that after his client was released from custody last year, he complied with all conditions of probation.

According to McNeill, Motu was employed when he was arrested in August. He paid his fine in full and was also current with his monthly visitations to Probation. McNeill said his client screwed up with he smoked weed.

Motu apologized for his actions and asked for a chance to continue on Probation. He assured the court that he would not violate any conditions of probation.

In handing down its decision, the court told Motu his probation would not be revoked; however, if he fails to comply with any of the conditions set forth, he will not get any more chances.


A 40-year-old man accused of assisting two males who burglarized and stole from a home on the westside has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Tavita Mulipola was originally charged with one count of stealing, a class C felony, punishable by imprisonment term of up to 7 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. However, in a plea agreement with the government, Mulipola pled guilty to the amended count of conspiracy to commit stealing, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

Mulipola admits that on Feb. 19, 2018 he assisted two men who stole from a home in Tafuna by using his vehicle to transport the stolen items and delivering them to his home in Malaeimi in an effort to conceal it from everyone, including the police.

He further admits that he parked his taxi in front of the home, pretending he was waiting for a passenger. Instead, he was the lookout for the two men who were in the house, stealing.

The government recommends that Mulipola be ordered to pay $552 restitution. Mulipola, who is out on a $5,000 surety bond, will be sentenced Dec. 6th.