Men stopped on other charges, allegedly found with meth
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who has a pending matter in the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court was arrested by police two weeks ago and charged with criminal contempt. However, during a body search, cops discovered a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing white crystalline substance inside his pocket
Vaifou Talalelei made his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago.
He is charge with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony, along with resisting arrest, 3rd degree assault and criminal contempt of a court order.
Bail is set at $5,000.
During his initial appearance, Talalelei’s defense attorney, Bob Stuart informed the court that his client wished to exercise his rights to a preliminary examination (PX).
PX is scheduled for Thursday this week, June 18th.
According to the government's case, police got a call for assistance on Friday night, May 30th in Leone, reporting that Talalelei was drunk and disorderly.
A police dispatcher claimed to have heard "people yelling and shouting profane words and children crying" in the background.
Cops who responded to the call and a search for the suspect was carried out at his home, which is near the ocean. Talalelei fled from the police, but the help from members of the village aumaga, Talalelei was captured and escorted back to the area where the police unit was waiting for him.
Talalelei was immediately arrested, searched and placed inside the police unit for transportion to the Leone Police Substation (LPS) for further investigation.
It was during the body search, a police officer found a hard object inside the defendant’s pants pocket. When the officer pulled the hard object out, it turned out to be a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing white crystalline substance.
When asked about the glass pipe, Talalelei said he don’t know how it got inside his pocket. He then blamed the two men who captured him saying that it must be one of them who placed the glass pipe inside his pocket in an effort to set him up.
He continued to state that the two men who captured him don’t like him and his family and he doesn’t know why.
According to a witness who spoke to police, Talalelei came home and started screaming at everyone in the house. The witness said it has become a habit for Talalelei to come home and shout profanities at everyone.
When a female family member told Talalelei to tone it down, Talalelei turned around and started a verbal argument with her. Talalelei was cussing at her, her kids, and other members of the household. Talalelei reeked of alcohol and according to what the witness told police, his behavior is always like this when he comes home intoxicated.
The driver of a black truck, which investigators allegedly found two medium baggies containing white crystalline substance and drug paraphernalia on, has been arrested and charged with unlawful possession of drugs.
Makesi Taualai, made his initial appearance in District Court last week. He later waived his right to a preliminary examination and his case was bound over to High Court for arraignment last week.
Taualai, 48, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies punishable by imprisonment of 5-10 years, a fine between $5,000- $20,000 or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
Taualai and another male, identified as Victor Filipo were in a truck driven by Taualai when patrol officers pulled them over in Nu’uuli on May 30th, 2020 for having no lights over the license plate.
As the officer was speaking to Taualai, he became suspicious of the way Taualai was acting. That is when officers instructed both men to exit the vehicle. Taualai was told that the vehicle would be impounded at the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) and both of them would be taken in for questioning. Both men followed police instructions.
Before they were transported to the TPS for questioning, police conducted a body search on each of them. Nothing was found on the male passenger.
However, police discovered two medium baggies containing white crystalline substance inside Taualai’s right pocket. Inside his left pocket was a small stamp-sized baggie containing green leafy substance, along with paraphernalia, including 17 empty small stamp-sized baggies commonly used to sell methamphetamine; and, a broken glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth.
When asked about the drugs and paraphernalia discovered in his possession, Talalelei responded by saying that he found the drugs and paraphernalia inside the truck when he jumped inside, he then picked the items up and put them inside his pocket. He further stated to investigators that the truck belong to his father-in-law and he’s using it to transport his crops to the market because his truck is not running due to a mechanic problem.
Talalelei further stated to investigators that the reason why he picked up the drugs and paraphernalia and put it inside his pocket was to prevent his friend from seeing it. He also didn’t want his friend to think that his father-in-law is someone who has a drug problem.
Police interviewed the passenger (Filipo) regarding the alleged incident. He told police that he was shocked when police found drugs and paraphernalia in his friend’s possession.
According to the passenger, he was at his house when Talalelei came up and asked him if he wanted go with him to Vaitogi to pick up his stuff. When they arrived in Vaitogi, Talalelei walked to a house and spoke to another man for over 20 minutes.
Before Talalelei returned to the truck, he saw Talelelei give money to the man who handed over to Talalelei two small stamp-sized baggies. Talalelei put one baggie in his right pocket and the other baggie in the other pocket before he made his way to the area where he was waiting inside the truck.
The passenger stated to investigators that when Talalelei got inside the truck, he just smiled and said, “Yes, I got my stuff that I was looking for.”