More drug charges continue to stem from arrests on stealing charges ... is that a surprise?
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who is on probation about being convicted of stealing two years ago was arrested again by police on the allegation he violated local drug laws.
Lolesio Tolu was a passenger in a pick-up truck that was pulled over by police two weekends ago in Vaitogi where drugs were found inside the right pocket of his pants during a body search.
The government claims that on the early morning of May 8th, 2020, two police officers patrolling the Vaitogi public highway observed a pick-up truck with too many lights on the front portion of the vehicle.
Police officers pulled the vehicle over with two males inside. The driver of the vehicle was later identified as Orepa Filisi while the person sitting in the passenger seat was later identified as Lolesio Tolu, the defendant in this matter.
Filisi is the owner of the vehicle, who provided his valid immigration I.D and driver’s license to officers. The vehicle registration is valid. Filisi received 3 traffic citations from the officers.
While officers were speaking to the driver, the defendant, Tolu, opened the passenger’s door and took off. The two police officers chased after Tolu who was apprehended about 100 feet away.
Tolu was immediately placed in temporary custody, and when questioned about the reason he fled the scene, he told police he was scared because he’s on probation. He further told police that he consumed alcohol before Filisi picked him up for a ride.
Tolu agreed to go with police to the Tafuna Police Substation for further investigation.
A body search was conducted on Tolu where officers discovered two glass pipes containing white crystalline substance inside and one hand rolled marijuana joint. The white crystalline substance was tested and turned out positive for methamphetamine while the green leaf was tested and turned out positive for marijuana.
Tolu told officers he got the two glass pipes containing meth and one marijuana joint from his friend for $70, and the reason he smoked meth and marijuana is to give him strength while performing his work at his plantation.
The driver of the vehicle was also interviewed by police regarding Tolu’s presence inside his vehicle during the traffic stop. The driver told officers that he only knows Tolu from selling his taro and bananas around their neighborhood. He was on his way to pick up his brother-in-law from work when Tolu flagged down his vehicle and asked for a ride back home to Vaitogi.
According to the driver’s statement, it was on their way back home with Tolu when officers pulled over his vehicle for having too many lights on it.
Tolu made his initial appearance in court.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by term of imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine not more than $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $10,000 and preliminary examination is scheduled for Thursday this week at 9a.m.
A 36-year-old man who was picked up pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court, on the allegation that he unlawfully entered the home of his uncle and and his uncle’s wife and stole several items including a laptop and two power tools is now charged with unlawful possession of drugs.
The government has filed two separate criminal cases against Keneti Farani, a.k.a Kenneth Farani, who is not new to the court system and made his initial appearance in District Court last week.
In the first case, Farani is charged with stealing and second degree burglary, both class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $5,000 fine or, pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.
In the second case, he is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of methamphetamine — both felonies. Bond is set at $10,000.
Farani’s attorney asked to reduce bail to $5,000 surety for both cases; but the prosecutor argued that Farani is not new to the court system, and his actions in these two cases show the type of person he is. She then asked that bail be maintained in both cases and the court agreed.
Preliminary examination is Friday at 1p.m.
On May 04th, 2020, a woman reported to police that their Fogagogo home was burglarized by an unknown person, and a lot of personal belongings were stolen.
A week later, a woman who claimed to be Farani’s ex-wife notified police that some of the stolen items were brought into their home by her brother, who alleged that the items were from Farani, the defendant.
Police spoke to the defendant’s ex-wife who said that her 22-year-old brother told her that Farani gave him the items to go and sell them to get money to buy them drugs. The ex-wife further stated to police that according to her brother, this is not the first time Farani had done this. Farani gave him (ex-wife’s brother) two cell phones and a weed-eater the month before to sell it for money to buy them drugs.
Police also spoke to the brother, who confirmed that the defendant gave him the items to sell for drugs. He further told police that the defendant also told him that the items were stolen from a house in Fogagogo and he was planning to burglarize the house again and steal more items.
The defendant was apprehended by police at his girlfriend’s home in Tafuna and was transported to the Tafuna Police Station for investigation.
When questioned, the defendant allegedly admitted that he broke into the victim’s home and took a number of things on the night of May 3rd. He further stated that some of the items he stole were sold to a man at “Le Filifili” in exchange for drugs while others were given away for free to his ex-wife’s younger brother, who is his best friend.
The defendant also confirmed to investigators that he gave some of the stolen items to his ex-girlfriend’s cousin to sell for cash to buy drugs. He explained to investigators that his ex-girlfriend’s cousin had nothing to do with the burglary.
Before Farani was taken into custody, a body search was conducted for weapons and illegal drugs. During the pat down, one clear baggie containing a white crystalline substance, which later tested positive for meth was discovered inside the defendant’s rear pants pocket. Police also found one marijuana joint in Farani’s possession.
The defendant told police the drugs allegedly found in his possession belong to him.