Man charged with marijuana possession after traffic stop
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was arrested last week for violating local drug laws after his vehicle was pulled over by police for a traffic violation. During a pat down police found a small baggie containing green leafy substance, which later tested positive for marijuana.
The man, Faipule Pata made his initial appearance in court last week.
He is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a felony, along with several traffic citations.
According to the government’s case, two police officers observed a pick-up truck traveling east bound on the Fagatogo public highway at a high rate of speed. Officers also noticed that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.
Officers pulled the vehicle over, and the driver was observed trying to put on his seatbelt. The driver was later identified as Faipule Pata, the defendant in this matter.
The defendant provided his driver’s license while another officer standing on the other side of the vehicle observed several empty small baggies commonly used to sell methamphetamine lying under the passenger’s seat.
When asked about the empty baggies, the defendant told police that he does not know anything about the empty baggies. The police officer then asked the defendant if there is anything illegal inside his vehicle that they should know about it. The defendant paused for a moment before he told officers that he had some “stuff” on his person.
The defendant agreed to a pat down, during which a small stamp-sized baggie containing green leafy substance was found inside his rear pocket. When asked about the baggie, the defendant told officer that it was a baggie of marijuana that he bought from another man for his own personal use.
The green leafy substance was tested and confirmed that it was marijuana.