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Man accused of stealing lumber and cement pleads guilty to a lesser charge

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of stealing has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Iese Fa’asavalu, who has a criminal record, appeared before Associate Justice Fiti A. Sunia this week for a Change of Plea hearing. Prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Doug Lowe, while Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill represented the defendant.

Faasavalu was initially charged with stealing and embezzlement, both class C felonies; and trespass, a class A misdemeanor.

But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Faasavalu pled guilty to an amended count of conspiracy to commit stealing, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

With his guilty plea, Faasavalu admits that on Jan. 15, 2019, he, along with another person, stole lumber and cement belonging to Ben Sauvao. Faasavalu said he assisted his co-defendant in this matter, by loading the lumber and cement on to a truck and transporting the items to another location without the owner’s permission.

According to terms of the plea agreement, the government recommends probation and restitution of $1,300

Faasavalu, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $5,000 bond, will be sentenced Sept. 26th.


According to court records, Faasavalu was convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana, and was ordered to serve 20 months in jail as a condition of a 5-year probation term.

The charge stemmed from an incident whereby police discovered a marijuana plant at his Leloaloa home.