Man allegedly beats wife in front of children because of her questions about his drug problem
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested for disturbing the private peace inside his home is now charged with violating local drug laws. During his arrest, police discovered an active arrest warrant for his arrest for another drug case in March of last year.
Si’ufaalele Afoa, a.ka. Si’u Loma Afoa made his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), a felony, punishable by term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
On Jan. 8, 2022, detectives from the DPS Vice & Narcotics K9 Unit (VNKU) were notified to investigate the possession of a small stamp sized baggy allegedly containing a white crystalline substance and a glass pipe with white powder inside it, confiscated from a man arrested in a Domestic Violence case.
The man arrested was later identified as Si’ufaalele Afoa, a.k.a Si’u Loma Afoa, the defendant in this matter.
According to arresting police officers’ statement to VNKU detectives, they received a phone call from a woman reporting her husband (defendant) beating on her in front of their four children. The woman also told officers that her husband is running away from the police because there is a warrant for his arrest. Several officers responded to the call and met up with the victim.
The defendant had fled the scene with his vehicle before officers arrived at the house.
After interviewing the victim, officers proceeded to locate the defendant, who was later apprehended and transported him to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning after his vehicle was pulled over by cops. Defendant’s vehicle was also impounded to TPS.
The victim told officers she got into an argument with her husband because she found a glass pipe inside his pants and it’s not the first time she has confronted her husband about this type of behavior. The first time she found about 6 stamp sized baggies inside their car on the morning of White Sunday last year, and when she confronted her husband about it, her husband confessed that he doesn’t smoke meth but he only sells it to make money to help out with their family.
The victim told police that she advised her husband that selling drugs to earn money to feed their children is the worse decision he had made and she told him to stop what he’s doing.
At the time, the woman destroyed all the baggies with white crystalline substance inside them by dumping them all at the back of the house.
The second time she found another small stamp sized baggy containing a white crystalline substance in her husband’s pants pocket, her husband confessed to her that it was a gift from his friend and he would not do it again.
However, when the victim confronted the defendant the third time after she found another glass pipe and a small stamp sized baggy both containing white powder, her husband got upset and that’s when he allegedly beat her up by pulling her hair and slapping her in the face multiple times.
The victim tried to push her husband away but her husband pulled her hair, kicked and punched her, causing her to fall on the ground in front of their 4 young children.
At TPS the defendant was asked if he would consent to a search of his vehicle and he agreed. Three police officers conducted the search of the vehicle in the presence of the defendant.
During the search, officers allegedly found what appeared to be a glass pipe with crystallized substance in it under the driver’s side seat, while another officer pulled out a notebook from under the driver’s seat and asked the defendant if the notebook belongs to him and the defendant responded “no”.
A stamp sized baggy with a white crystalline substance inside it was allegedly found in the notebook. The substance was later tested and yielded positive for meth.
When questioned about the alleged domestic case with his wife, the defendant immediately confessed and admits to the allegation. He told police that he was very disappointed after his wife kept questioning him about his drug problem.
When asked why he fled from cops, defendant stated that he was afraid because cops are looking for him from an incident that occurred last year where drugs were found inside his truck during a traffic stop.
THE ARREST WARRANT
The arrest warrant is from a traffic stop that happened on Feb. 24, 2021 when several police officers patrolling Nu’uuli heading west near Manu’a’s Store observed a truck heading east with only one headlamp working. A stop was initiated and two males were found in the vehicle, with the driver having red and watery eyes, and a strong odor of alcohol was detected coming from within the vehicle.
The officer who spoke to the driver informed his co-officer regarding the strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle as well as from the driver’s breath. The driver was then informed that his vehicle would be impounded to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) so that a police sergeant could administer a field sobriety test. The driver agreed. (The driver was later found not to be under the influence of alcohol.)
At the same time, officers observed the male passenger of the vehicle holding an open beer can. That is when the driver was instructed by police officer to exit the vehicle where he was patted down and placed inside a police unit.
During that time, another police officer observed a half smoked hand rolled cigarette with green leafy substance that appeared to be a marijuana joint and a pink paper wrapping a green leafy substance that appeared to be marijuana, sitting between the driver and passenger.
The passenger was then instructed by officers to exit the vehicle where he agreed and stepped out of the vehicle. As officers were trying to deal with the passenger, the defendant turned around and immediately ran away from officers with an unknown container in his hand.
Officers pursued the defendant on foot and subdued and apprehended him a few yards away from the vehicle stop. Officers were unable to locate or retrieve the unknown container due to poor visibility, the area was dark and there were bushes. Both the defendant and the male passenger were then transported to the TPS for questioning.
A few hours later on the same night, the impounded vehicle was inventoried and officers discovered a white envelope that contained a green leafy substance that appeared to be marijuana inside the armrest between the driver and the passenger seats. Senior police officers were informed about the discovery and detectives of the VNKU were notified about the alleged illegal drugs.
The VNKU tested the green leafy substances found inside the pink wrap and inside the white envelope, which tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.
The defendant and the male passenger were placed in different rooms for interviews, where both were Mirandized, and they both agreed to speak to investigators regarding the incident.
The defendant told investigators that the male passenger who is his best friend came to him at his work place in Tafuna, asked him if he (defendant) could take him (passenger) to his friend’s house. The defendant agreed and drove his friend and dropped him at an intersection heading towards the Tongan communities in the Pavaiai area. The defendant left and then returned to pick his friend up, then they headed east on the Pavaiai public highway.
As the defendant was driving, his friend took some marijuana from a pink paper and hand rolled it into a marijuana joint. They continued cruising, smoking the hand rolled marijuana joint from his friend.
The vehicle was then stopped by police and the defendant told investigators that the marijuana found inside the vehicle belonged to his friend. The defendant was later released from custody.
During the passenger’s interview, he strongly denied the defendant’s account of the incident. He stated that the drugs found inside the vehicle belonged to the defendant, not him.
The male passenger was later released to go home after he was questioned by investigators.
The defendant was interviewed by investigators again. During his second interview, he revealed to investigators the name of the man who handed over the drugs to him. He further told investigators that the man has just received his supply of drugs and he’s about to sell them.
The defendant agreed that he would provide more information about the man who supplied him with drugs. However, after he was released, he was nowhere to be found.