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Father of 5 told to find gainful employment — if not it’s back to jail

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A father of five convicted of unlawful possession of illegal drugs was released from the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) for 90 days to seek and secure gainful employment.

If Anitipa Malae is unable to secure gainful employment, the court ordered him to report back to the TCF to serve the remaining balance of his period of detention.

Malae, who had been in custody unable to post a $5,000 surety bond appeared in court two weeks ago for sentencing.

When given the chance to address the court, Malae apologized for his actions and begged to the court for a second chance to return home to provide for his family especially his wife and five young children.

He told the court that he’s truly remorseful and he had learned his lesson while living in jail for 6 months. He also told the court that he doesn’t want to go back to his old life.

The court asked Malae whether he understands the reason police searched him; and he replied, yes.

Defense attorney asked the court for a probated sentencing without any additional period of detention. Prosecutor Garvey seconded the defense’s request and asked the court to adopt the recommendation by the Probation office through the Pre Sentence Report (PSR).

After considering mitigating factors from both parties, along with the defendant’s statement, the court sentenced Malae to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000. Execution of the sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for 5 years subject to several conditions.

He shall undertake a period of detention of 20 months without any release unless for a genuine medical reason or by order of the court. Execution of detention is as follows: Malae shall serve 9 months forthwith, credited for the time he served while awaiting the outcome of his matter.

The defendant shall be released for a period of 90 days in which time he shall secure and seek gainful employment. Defendant was told that for sure the cannery is hiring and he must remember that family farming is not considered gainful employment.

If Malae is unable to secure gainful employment, the court ordered him to report back to the TCF and serve the rest of his detention. The court also ordered him to make sure to pay his $2,000 fine.

He is also subject to the usual probation restrictions, including not consuming nor possessing alcohol or illegal drugs; and he must submit himself for testing to make sure he’s in compliance with the stay clean order.

If he’s going to report back to the TCF to serve the balance of his detention, Malae is not to be considered by the Warden as a trustee.

The court also ordered that Malae make sure to comply with all the traffic laws. The court stated that recently, the defendant was caught by police and cited for having too many lights on his vehicle. He was further told by the court that non compliance with any of the traffic rules would be considered as another violation of conditions of his probation.