Ads by Google Ads by Google

Man charged in three separate cases goes to court next week

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man with an active arrest warrant for an alleged attempted burglary in Nu’uuli almost a year ago is now in custody after he was arrested last month during a traffic stop in Pago Pago.

Sootaga Faavae was arrested and held for 48 hours after police allegedly discovered a quantity of illegal drugs and cash in his possession. To top it off, the driver’s immigration ID expired last year after his sponsor left the island.

Faavae made his initial appearance in court last week where he was served with the copy of the arrest warrant containing all the charges and the information regarding the government’s cases against him.

He is charged in 3 separate cases.

In the first case, he is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth); one count of unlawful possession of meth with the intent to distribute; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, all unclassified felonies which carry an imprisonment sentences between 5 to 10 years, a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, or both; along with one count of unlawful possession of ammunition, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 years, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Bail for this case is set at $20,000.

In the second case, Faavae is charged with one count of stealing and one count of 1st- degree burglary, both class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $5,000 or pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both. Bail in this case is set at $15,000

In the third case, Faavae is charged with one count of attempted stealing and one count of attempted burglary, both class D felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a $5,000 fine or both. Bail for this case is set at $10,000.

Preliminary examination (PX) for all three cases against Faavae is scheduled for Thursday next week.


According to the government, a traffic stop was initiated on the evening of Sept. 20th, on a pick-up truck driven by Faavae for not having a license plate light. Faavae was in the vehicle with a woman who was later identified as a friend.

Faavae was found to have an expired driver’s license, while the vehicle he was driving had a license tag that did not match the number on the license plate. Central Police Station confirmed that the vehicle’s license had expired in May 2020.

As a result, Faavae was told the vehicle would be impounded to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS).

A body search was conducted on both Faavae and his friend. The passenger was cleared, but not Faavae — a medium sized baggie was found inside the right pocket of his pants, as well as a small baggie in his rear pocket. The medium baggie contained 3 small stamp-sized baggies with a white crystalline substance within each.

At the TPS, Faavae was present during the inventory search of his impounded vehicle. A small black bag was discovered under the driver’s seat that had no drugs in it. At the time, Faavae said he didn't know to whom the black bag belonged. He also told police that the vehicle did not belong to him, but did not say who owned it.

As they spoke, the TPS received a phone call from a man in Vaitogi saying that his pick-up truck had been stolen from his daughter’s house while she was working. The caller further stated to police that the only person who could do that was a guy by the name of Faavae — a man who hangs out with his daughter’s husband at his daughter’s house in Vaitogi.

The passenger agreed to speak with police regarding the incident. According to the passenger’s statement, she caught a ride with Faavae in Faleniu and she knew nothing about drugs found in Faavae’s possession.

When asked about the drugs, Faavae admitted to police that all the drugs found inside the vehicle and on him, belonged to him. He said he bought the drugs from a friend from Taputimu for his own personal use.

It was during the interview that police discovered that Faavae had an active arrest warrant from an attempted burglary case two years ago.


When police questioned Faavae about the stolen vehicle, the defendant admitted that he went to his friend’s home in Vaitogi and took the vehicle without permission. Faavae, a mechanic, told police that his friend owed him $400 for fixing the truck. He further told police that he didn’t know the vehicle belonged to his friend’s father-in-law.

Police spoke to the daughter of the man who owns the vehicle, who told officers that she left the vehicle’s key in the living room on the night before the vehicle disappeared.


When questioned by police regarding the attempted burglary, Faavae admitted that he attempted to break into his uncle’s home in Iliili in November of 2020.

Faavae was unable to gain entry inside the house, so he tried to steal his uncle’s tool box from the garage, however, he threw it down and ran away after a neighbor called out to him that he’s calling police.