Man on probation for marijuana use tests positive for weed and meth
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The High Court issued a bench warrant last week for a defendant who is accused of disobeying conditions of his probation.
The Order to Show Cause (OSC) hearing for Philip Mavaega was scheduled for last Friday, after the Probation Office filed a revocation motion in court, when Mavaega failed to comply with several conditions of his release.
According to Probation, Mavaega was sentenced about 3 months ago. He came in to their office about 2 weeks ago and provided a urine sample, which tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine.
The court asked the defendant’s attorney, Rob McNeill whether he had a chance to communicate with his client, and McNeill said no.
The court then issued a bench warrant; and attorneys from both sides did not object.
During his sentencing 3 months ago, following a conviction for unlawful possession of marijuana, Mavaega was ordered to remain alcohol and drug free.
As a condition of his 5-year probation, Mavaega was ordered to serve 20 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF); however, after the court accepted the attorney’s submission and the defendant’s apology, the court ordered the defendant to only serve 7 1/2 months in prison, which he already served during pretrial confinement, with the remaining 13 1/2 months stayed.
During his sentencing 3 months ago, the court told Mavaega that the only reason the court accepted his apology was because he mentioned something about going back home to care for his sick father
“We can allow you another chance to go home but we’re not sure whether you will be going back to your same old lifestyle if we grant you a second chance. And if you go back to your old lifestyle and the police find you again with some drugs, the government will spend its resources to take care of you,” the court told the defendant.
Mavaega was arrested after police found him with marijuana and ice on him in front of an Asian store in Nuuuli. According to the police investigation, the defendant has a drug addiction problem.