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Hand gun found during traffic stop where drugs were confiscated

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was arrested and accused of possessing a handgun and drugs found during a traffic stop back in August of last year entered a guilty plea last week to the charges against him.

The government charged Taaloga Lui in two separate cases.

In the first case, Lui is charged with eleven counts, including attempted assault, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of the controlled substance of marijuana and unlawful possession of the controlled substance of methamphetamine (meth), possession of an unlicensed firearm, resisting arrest, careless driving and public peace disturbance.

For the second case, Lui is charged with escape from confinement, a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than five years, and or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

However under a plea bargain that was accepted by the court last week, Lui pleaded guilty to counts 5, 6 & 7 in the first case, which is unlawful possession of controlled substance, to wit; meth, unlawful controlled substance, to wit; marijuana and possession of an unlicensed firearm; and count one of escape from confinement in the second case.

The defendant admitted that on or about the evening of Aug. 11, 2020 in American Samoa, he unlawful possessed meth, marijuana and an unlicensed firearm. The defendant further admitted that his action on that day was without legal justification.

After the court accepted Lui’s guilty plea, the government then asked the court to dismiss all remaining charges filed against the defendant.

Lui, who is being held in custody without bail, is scheduled to appear for sentencing, on Dec. 19, 2021.