Man allegedly caught with meth & marijuana points to “Le Filifili”
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was arrested during a traffic stop last month when illegal drugs were allegedly found in his possession told police that he bought drugs from the area called “Le Filifili” for his own personal use.
Tufa’aga Laki made his initial appearance in District Court last month where the court set a $5,000 surety bond.
Laki is now charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of controlled substance, to wit; marijuana, both unclassified felonies punishable by a 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; along with one count of resisting arrest, a class D felony.
According to the government’s case, it was about 9:40a.m on Jan. 23rd when police pursued a vehicle being driven recklessly heading west, which turned into a company’s parking lot area in Tafuna. Officers then observed the driver standing outside of his vehicle acting as if he was trying to fix a tire.
Upon approaching the driver, he identified himself to police officers as Tufa’aga Laki, the defendant in this matter.
When asked what he was doing, the defendant responded by stating he was trying to fix his vehicle and that something was wrong with the gas pedal.
When asked for his driver’s license, the defendant stated that he did not have it in his possession. When officers ran his name through the driver’s license system at the main station in Fagatogo, the system could not locate any records of the defendant. Officers informed the defendant of the discovery but the defendant argued that he had a driver’s license.
He also told officers that if they’re going to search him and his vehicle, he wanted to see a court order before it happens. After a brief discussion, officers then informed the defendant that the vehicle would be impounded because he was operating it without a driver’s license. The driver continued to argue with the officers, while walking to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
It was at that time when officers observed the defendant reach inside of his vehicle, grab a cellphone along with sunglasses. They also clearly observed the defendant reach into his pocket and toss something away. The officers discovered that the item tossed out by the defendant was a medium baggie containing a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine or ice and a small stamp-sized baggie.
Inside the glass pipe was a white crystalline substance and inside the small baggie was a green leafy substance.
When the two officers attempted to arrest the defendant, the defendant resisted and tried to push police officers away from him.
The officers then called for backup and were able to place the defendant under arrest and transport him to the Tafuna Police Substation for questioning. The matter was transferred to investigators from the DPS Vice and Narcotic Unit to handle.
The white crystalline substance tested positive for methamphetamine while the green leafy substance tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.
When questioned about the glass pipe and the baggie containing marijuana, the defendant immediately confessed to investigators stating it all belonged to him, and that he had purchased a straw containing methamphetamine for $20 for his own personal use, from an unknown man up in the area called Logotala hill, a.k.a “Le Filifili”, while the baggie containing marijuana was given to him for free by a friend.
He also stated that he often purchased meth from Logotala hill and that he never got more than $20 worth of methamphetamine at a time.