Man convicted for meth asks to return to Samoa
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 41-year-old man from Samoa who was convicted for violating the drug laws of the territory was ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its border, as a condition of his 5-year probation sentence.
Vincent Viiltone, who has been in custody since his arrest last year, unable to post his $5,000 bond, pled guilty to the charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a class D felony.
Vilitone appeared in High Court last week for sentencing. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson, while prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Kristine Soule.
When given the chance to address the court, Vilitone apologized for his actions, and asked for a chance to go back to Samoa to care for his parent and make use of his life to serve his church, family and village.
His attorney, Anderson asked the court to accept the recommendation contained in the Pre Sentence Report (PSR) prepared by the Probation Office, and sentence his client to a probated sentence under the condition that he has to depart the territory.
Defense attorney also told the court that his client’s previous conviction 9 years ago was different from his current case.
After reviewing all the facts of the case, along with submissions from counsels and also the statement from the defendant, the court stated that Vilitone was a overstayer from Samoa when he was arrested by police last year, after being found with a glass pipe containing methamphetamine.
According to a report from the Immigration Office, Vilitone entered the territory on a 30-day permit, where he continued to reside in the territory as an overstayer for 2 months before he was arrested.
According to the court, Vilitone was driven by a taxi driver to the Tafuna Police Station after he fell asleep inside his taxi and couldn’t get him up. He was heavily intoxicated. Vilitone was dropped off the TPS for his safety. Vilitone continued to sleep, but at the TPS.
When he woke up the next morning, the defendant then realized that he was sleeping in a different place. That is when he started to act violent and started to punched the wall inside the TPS’ conference room, leaving holes in the wall.
He was immediately apprehended by police and was placed under police custody; and when police conducted a search on him, officers discovered a glass pipe containing methamphetamine inside his pants’ pocket. Police also searched his black bag and discovered 2 stamp sized-baggies containing methamphetamine.
When asked about the glass pipe and the baggies, Vilitone told police it was a gift from his friend in Tafuna for doing plumbing work for his house.
The court then sentenced Vilitone to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Execution of sentence was suspended and the defendant is placed on probation for the period of 5 years, subject to certain conditions, including serving a period of detention of 20 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF); time already served would be counted toward his sentence; the remaining period of detention is stayed, and he is ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its border for this stayed period.
The court ordered a copy of the court’s judgment and sentence must be served to the Immigration Office and Board, to make sure Vilitone’s name will be include on their office’s Lookout list.
In 2010, Vilitone was convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and receiving stolen property, both class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
For each count, Vilitone was ordered to server detention of 28 months, which means, he had to serve a total of 56 months at the TCF, as a conditions of his 7 year probation, which ended in 2017.