Drugs, ammunition, shotgun found in a car pulled over for speeding
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was stopped for speeding, found not to have a driver’s license, and when apprehended, allegedly punched and kicked a cop and resisted arrest, had further bad luck when the vehicle he was driving was searched and illegal drugs, a firearm, live ammunition, and paraphernalia were allegedly discovered. To top it off, the driver is an overstayer from Samoa.
Farani Uili, also known as “Fanky”, made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea last week. He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana; and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm - all felonies; and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition, a misdemeanor.
Due to Uili’s immigration status and the seriousness of the allegations against him, he is held on a ‘no bail’ status. Preliminary examination (PX) is Thursday, Jan. 16th.
On Jan. 8, 2020, cops who were patrolling in the Pago area pulled over a vehicle for speeding as it was heading eastbound. The vehicle was seen swerving and overtaking other cars as it took a wide turn on to the Fagasa road. When stopped, the driver - later identified as Uili - did not have any form of ID.
Uili told police he was in a rush to get home because his aunty needed to use the car to go to work. Cops told him to be calm and let them do their job but Uili kept insisting that he needed to get home. When cops tried to apprehend Uili, he resisted and started a scuffle. Police tried to pull him out of the vehicle, but Uili allegedly punched one of the officers in the mouth and tried to close the door while cops were still trying to pull him out.
The officer who was holding on to one of Uili’s arms slipped and lost balance, and that’s when Uili allegedly kicked him. Cops handcuffed Uili and transported him to the Tafuna Substation. The vehicle was impounded and during a search, a blue bag was discovered in the back seat.
When asked about the contents of the bag, Uili said, “I don’t know what’s inside that bag because the bag does not belong to me.” Officers asked for consent to open the bag and Uili refused, saying, “You need to call my aunty first, she’s the owner of the vehicle, and I know for sure she also owns that bag.”
Police informed Uili that he was the one who drove the vehicle when they pulled it over, and that’s why they were asking his consent to open the bag. Uili then agreed and said, “go ahead and open it, there’s nothing inside. What are you looking for?”
Upon unzipping the bag, cops said they could smell a strong odor of drugs. There were clothes on top and underneath, police found a 12-gauge shotgun, narcotics, and ammunition.
Four stamp-sized baggies containing a white crystalline substance were found in the bag. A more thorough search of the vehicle netted a backpack behind the driver’s seat. In it was 2 small glass pipes - commonly used to smoke meth - containing a white crystalline substance, and a small baggie containing 3 hand rolled marijuana joints. Also found were empty baggies; 2 lighters; a pair of scissors; and a scale.
Uili kept denying any knowledge of the contraband, telling police he didn’t know who they belonged to. Wrapped in a lavalava in the back seat was another small glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance; a clear plastic ziplock bag containing a green leafy substance consistent with marijuana; and several other small baggies.
Uili refused to make a statement, saying his head hurt from the scuffle and he didn’t want to talk. The white crystalline substance tested positive for meth while the green leafy substance tested positive for marijuana.