Ads by Google Ads by Google

Marijuana joints and CBD found in package at Post Office inspection


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Customs Department contacted and notified the Vice and Narcotics Unit concerning a possible drug case at the Post Office on July 19, 2023. According to officers, a woman came to the Post Office to pick up a parcel, which contained 497 joints and a CBD vape.

 Falepule Mata’utia was arrested on the same day Customs officers discovered drugs in the parcel and turned the case over to the Department of Public Safety- Fagatogo central station.

According to the Customs officer, a woman picked up a parcel from the post office on July 19 and proceeded to the Customs inspection tent, where the parcel was inspected. Upon cutting the parcel open, a strong odor came out of the box. The customs officer then informed her officer in charge that she was going to further her inspection inside their Customs office, with the woman following her in.

The Customs officer then asked the woman, who was the consignee on the box, to which the woman replied that it was her, but that it was a nickname.

Other officers then assisted in opening the small snack boxes that were in the parcel that contained individual snack bars, ziploc bags that had coffee in it and small taped brown bags. The brown bags were then revealed to contain numerous joints with a strong odor of cannabis that circulated the room, in addition to each snack bar wrapper having more joints inside.

The Customs officer then asked the woman who the sender was that was labeled on the box, and she said it was her sister in the mainland U.S. and that she sent her the stuff because she was relocating to American Samoa.

The Customs officer then asked her “when is her sister moving down,” and she replied next week.

A woman then came to claim her package that she had sent her sister in to pick up, and she stated that her sister had no knowledge of the package. She said that she had sent it from off-island, under her sister’s name as the receiver.

She had only mentioned to her younger sister to pick her package the day before, and that she had been on island for a few days and was here on vacation. She then concluded that it was for personal use and that she understood she had broken the law.

The two women were then escorted to the Fagatogo Police station for further questioning, and during the younger sister’s interview, she stated that she has been picking mail up for their family for the past couple of weeks for a family reunion.

The younger sister then reported that she was told that another box had arrived and that she did not know the full contents of the parcel aside from snacks and goodies.

The younger sister, “Baby”, added that she was taken to the Customs office where a thorough inspection of the box was conducted, and Baby said that she was at a loss for words and had no knowledge of the items.

After the interview, “Baby” was released.

At the Fagatogo police station, responding DPS officers utilized a field test kit to test the green leafy substance and results yielded positive for THC, an active ingredient of  marijuana.

Falepule Mata’utia was Mirandized, and refused to make a statement concerning the marijuana joints found in the parcel.

On July 24, 2023, she made her initial court appearance where she was arraigned, and bail was set at $15,000.

Mata’utia is charged with two felony counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession with intent to distribute.