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Man arrested in armed drug raid in Tafeta takes a plea

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was arrested after armed detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at his Tafeta home in August of last year has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Asolelei Palauni who is out on a $5,000 cash bond, appeared in High Court last week for a Change of Plea hearing.

Palauni was originally charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), a felony punishable by 5-10 years in jail, and a fine of $5,000-$20,000 or both.

But under a plea agreement with the government, Palauni pled guilty to an amended count of unlawful possession of meth. Palauni admits that on Aug. 21, 2021 he had in his possession, three small baggies containing meth.

According to the government, on Aug. 21, several police officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Tafeta home where paraphernalia was found inside his bedroom.

It was a body search that netted four small baggies containing a crystalline substance, which, according to the defendant, were bought from a man for $30 each.

Sentencing is scheduled for next month.