Faleniu rises up to eradicate marijuana plants — aumuga and mayor alert police
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Faleniu was arrested by police after drugs, including live marijuana plants, were allegedly discovered at his auto shop. It was members of the Faleniu aumaga including the Mayor who alerted police regarding the alleged marijuana plants growing on the side of the auto shop.
Sebastian Igafo made his initial appearance in District Court this week.
Igao is charged with 3 criminal charges including one count of unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, and one count of unlawful possession methamphetamine, all unclassified felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more that ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at$15,000.
Preliminary examination is scheduled for next week.
On Feb. 4, 2021 around 2:25 p.m the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received multiple calls from concerned village committee members of Faleniu, including the village Mayor and also the village aumaga, stating that they had seen marijuana plants in between an auto shop and a laundromat store in Faleniu.
Several police officers responded to the call and were able to question several people who were at the area regarding the said matter, as well as plainly view what appeared to be marijuana plants in the identified area. These plants could easily be seen from the main road.
A man from the Faleniu village directed cops to the reported plants and later pointed out to police an unknown person mowing the lawn across the street as the one that owned the land. The unknown person was later identified as Sebastian Igafo, the defendant.
Cops proceeded to Igafo and informed him the reason for their visit. Igafo claimed to understand and voluntarily told them that the auto shop belonged to him.
Ifago was asked if police could take a look in the area behind the locked gate and he consented. He then voluntarily unlocked the gate that led to the plants in question.
Cops observed 2 plants that appeared to be marijuana plants planted beside the auto shop. Photos of the said plants were taken and the plants were immediately seized thereafter. A police captain asked igafo about the plants to which he stated that he does not know who owns them.
As cops were transporting the said plants to the police unit, a police sergeant observed another door into a room without a roof was ajar. The police sergeant further observed more plants that also appeared to be marijuana plants being cultivated inside the said room near the location of where the first 2 plants were seized.
More cops assisted in retrieving the discovered marijuana plants from this particular room. Six (6) other small plants that appeared to be baby marijuana plants were later found in another one of the rooms and they were seized, after photos were taken.
Igafo was then informed that he was under the custody of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and was immediately searched at the scene. The search discovered a round clear container filled with green leafy substances and 14 hand rolled marijuana roaches (small marijuana joints) inside it.
A detailed search of the shop was conducted and produced a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine containing white residue. A cut-up straw was also found near the glass pipe containing crystalline substance. Numerous small empty baggies, seeds that appeared to be marijuana seeds, and what appeared to be dried marijuana stems along with other paraphernalia commonly used with methamphetamine and marijuana.
Officers who were at the scene secured the scene and transported Igafo to the TPS for further questioning.
At the TPS, a Duquenois Levine Reagent Field test kit was used to test the green leafy substances, and plants found at the scene, which all tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.
The police captain also used a methamphetamine field test kit to test the crystalline substance found in the cut-up straw, which also yield positive results for methamphetamine.
Around 5:40 p.m on same date, Ifgao was officially Mirandized and he said that he understood his rights and refused to make a statement.
Igafo was booked and later transported to jail.
Evidence seized from the scene with a property report was later transported to the evidence room.