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Heavy charges against man picked up for PPD and found with marijuana

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested for disturbing the public peace in front of a family residence in Nuuuli last week has also been charged with unlawful possession of drugs.

Taavili Te’o made his initial appearance in court last week.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, an unclassified felony punishable by imprisonment from 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both; along with one count of 3rd degree assault and public peace disturbance (PPD), both misdemeanors.

Bail is set at $10,000.


According to the government’s case, a man contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for assistance after a man assaulted his son-in-law in front of their guest house. Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the man who called.

According to the man, who also is the father-in-law of the victim, his son-in-law was fixing their fence at the back of their house when “T” (also known as Faavili Te’o) walked over to his son and questioned him regarding an incident that occurred two weeks ago where his son-in-law and two other male individuals assaulted Te’o during a rugby touch game.

According to the father-in-law, Te’o punched his son-on-law in the face multiple times causing him to fall where Te’o then kicked his son-in-law in the back and stomach before two other males, who were with his son-in-law, came forward and stopped Te’o.

When asked about the incident by police officers, the victim echoed his father-in-law’s statement. He said that while he was on the ground after Te’o assaulted him and told him that he would shoot him if he calls the police.

Te’o was apprehended by police at the location where the alleged incident took place and transported to the TPS for questioning. Before he was transported, a body search was conducted for weapons and drugs. During a pat down, two hand rolled marijuana cigarettes were discovered by police in the defendant’s rear pants pocket.

After being Mirandized, Te’o said that he understood his rights and agreed to speak with police regarding the incident.

Te’o admitted that he assaulted the victim out of anger because the victim and two of his friends assaulted him two weeks ago.

When asked about the illegal drugs found on him, Te’o said he bought the drugs from a man from the area called Le Filifili.