Meth smoker back in court for same offense
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who is on probation after being convicted of unlawful possession of meth is now back in court on the same offense.
Barritt Siaumau made his initial appearance in District Court last week.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), a felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both; along with two counts of possession of unlicensed arms a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $1,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
On June 4, 2021 at about 5:30p.m, Vice and Narcotics (VNU) were informed of a traffic stop by the Tafuna Police Substation Patrol Officers (TPS) where they later discovered live ammunition and a glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth, containing white crystalline substance.
Detectives from the VNU responded to the call from the TPS and met up with officers who initiated the traffic stop.
According to the officers, they were patrolling the Iliili highway heading west bound when they observed a black SUV in front of their unit with expired tags. They then ran the plate through the OMV system and confirmed the tags were expired.
That’s when they stopped the vehicle near the store across from the Vaitogi intersection and immediately approached the driver of the vehicle who was later identified as Barritt Siaumau, the defendant in this matter.
Officers discovered that Siaumau did not have a driver’s license or any form of identification with him. The driver and his vehicle were then impounded and taken to the TPS for further investigation.
Upon arrival at the TPS, an inventory of the vehicle was conducted by officers in the presence of the driver. Inside the vehicle’s armrest compartment officers discovered a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing white crystalline substance. Officers also found live ammunition (10 rounds of 9mm / 2 rounds of 30 caliber) scattered inside the armrest and the cup holder at the driver’s side door.
When asked about the items found inside his vehicle, Siaumau informed officers that he possessed the car just recently. He also stated that items found belonged to his friend he just dropped off in Iliili prior being pulled over by police.
Individuals are unable to obtain a lawful license for 9.mm ammunition or 30 caliber ammunition.
Investigators interviewed other officers present during the traffic stop and they corroborated the first officer’s statement with their verbal accounts that they later obtained in writing.
Siaumau refused to make a statement to police after he was Mirandized.
On Sept. 14, 2020, Siaumau pled guilty to the amended count of unlawful possession of meth and was sentenced by the High Court to a term of probation of 5 years and a $2,000 fine. The execution of the term of imprisonment was suspended and the defendant was placed on probation for a period of five years with the usual terms and conditions.
Siaumau’s conviction stemmed from an incident where the government claims that on Apr. 4th a two police officers conducted a traffic stop due to a truck not having a current paper tag (lime green sticker), and having a different license plate on the back and the front — and the license plate light was out.
The vehicle was pulled over and two male individuals were inside the vehicle — and the driver was later identified as Barrit Siaumau, the defendant in this case.
The vehicle was then impounded vehicle and transported to the TPS, where one of the officers started issuing citations to the defendant for the violations.
An inventory search of the vehicle was conducted by several police officers and the defendant was also present to witness the search of his vehicle.
It was during the inventory search, police discovered a plastic baggie containing a white crystalline substance. The DPS Vice and Narcotic and K9 Unit were then contacted for assistance to further the investigation.
At the time of the discovery, Siaumau just shook his head left and right and said he doesn’t know anything about it.
The white crystalline substance inside the plastic baggie tested positive for meth.
The defendant was Mirandized and he made a verbal statement about the incident explaining why the truck had two different license plates.
The defendant also stated that during the inventory search of his pick-up truck, he was present but couldn’t see what the cops were doing, saying that he didn’t see what the cops were doing because the cop that was at the driver’s side door blocked his view.
Police denied Siaumau’s account that his view was blocked.