Ads by Google Ads by Google

Hot pursuit ends with foot chase, alleged drug bust near Le Aute

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Police arrested a man from the Philippines accused of violating local drug laws last week. Carlos Tolentino made his initial appearance before Judge Elvis P. Patea yesterday morning. He is represented by Assistant Public Defender Bob Stuart, while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.

Tolentino is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, both felonies.

Bail is $20,000 and the preliminary examination (PX) is next Thursday.


On Dec. 7, 2019 at about 5:50p.m, two officers who were patrolling the main road on the west side received a radio transmission, saying they were in pursuit of a vehicle, heading towards the road leading to Le Aute Pool Hall.

The patrol officers headed to the area and as they approached the vehicles that were parked behind the dirt road going to Le Aute, a truck with no license plates backed up and almost hit the police unit.

The truck sped away, heading towards the back of Le Aute. Officers in one of the police units continued pursuing the truck until they reached a dead end. At that point, two males exited the truck and fled on foot towards the ‘asuemu’ (asphalt) area.

Two officers exited their police unit and chased down the two males; and while this was going on, cops allegedly heard gunshots nearby.

Police were able to find one of the males hiding in a bushy area. During a search of the man, police found two cut-up straws containing a white crystalline substance and cash. The man was later identified as Carlos Tolentino, who was escorted back to where the truck was.

Both doors of the truck were still open and within view were cut-up straws containing a white crystalline substance in a pouch on the passenger’s seat.

A more thorough search of the vehicle netted 61 cut-up straws (one inch) containing a white crystalline substance; a simoi size Ziploc baggie containing a substantial amount of a white crystalline substance; a hand rolled marijuana joint; and a huge amount of cash in a black bag.

The vehicle had no license plates and there was no key in the ignition, so it was left at the scene. Tolentino was taken in for questioning. He told police that everything that was discovered inside the vehicle belonged to the driver.

According to the government, Tolentino was the passenger and the male who fled the scene was the driver. Tolentino said the two cut-up straws that were found on him were given to him by the vehicle owner for fixing his truck.

The white crystalline substance inside the two cut-up straws found on Tolentino tested positive for meth. Victor Saipologa, identified in the affidavit as the driver of the vehicle, is still being sought by police.