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Driver speeds himself right into TCF

TCF Territorial Correctional Facility sign

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The driver of a vehicle pulled over by police two weeks ago for a traffic violation was arrested and charged for violating local drug laws.

The government alleges that on Nov. 13th, 2020 about 10:21p.m, two police officers patrolling the Iliili public highway pulled over a black SUV for speeding and the driver was also not wearing a seatbelt.

Officers approached the driver and informed him why he was stopped. The driver of the vehicle was later identified as David Manase, the defendant in this case.

Upon speaking with the defendant, the officer observed that the defendant had a red face and bloodshot eyes.

The officer then asked the man if he had been drinking and questioned him about how many drinks he had and what time he finished drinking. The defendant responded by saying that he only had two large bottles of beer and he had finished them an hour prior to the vehicle stop. The driver further told police that he didn’t want to do a field sobriety because he believed that he would fail the test.

Police informed Manase that his vehicle would be impounded and he was also under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Before the defendant and his vehicle were transported to the Tafuna Police Substation for further investigation, police conducted a body search. During the search, police found a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance inside the defendant’s right pocket.

An inventory search was conducted on the vehicle where police found half a marijuana joint under the driver’s seat.

When questioned about the illegal drugs found in his possession and also inside his vehicle, Manase told police that the illegal drugs belonged to him. He told police that he got the glass pipe and the marijuana joint from a friend during a drinking session at the Lions Park in Tafuna.

Manase made his initial appearance in court two weeks ago.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both felonies.

Bail is set at $10,000.