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New drugs believed to be making their way into the territory

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — It hasn't been long since Customs acquired their newest four-legged members and already, the drug sniffing golden retriever, Ruca has made a bust.

About two weeks ago, during a routine run-through at the local post office, Ruca alerted to a package, which was then put under surveillance. Samoa News understands that a male claimed the package.

The DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit was notified.

Samoa News could not confirm at press time whether the man was taken into custody but witnesses say the same male was seen hanging around the post office that day, as if he was contemplating whether to pick up the package or not.

Samoa News understands the man walked in to claim the parcel not long before closing time.

Sources say the contents of the package were not marijuana or meth, meaning it could be something not normally found in the territory — like heroin, cocaine, or PCP. But it is definitely an illegal drug, as Ruca's specializes in detecting such drugs, including ‘ice’ and marijuana.

Samoa News recalls that last year, a similar incident occurred. A K9 dog alerted to a package at the post office and the contents were unknown at the time; but when sent off island, test results confirmed that it was PCP.

Also known as Angel Dust, PCP is a mind-altering drug that may lead to hallucinations. It is considered a dissociative drug, leading to a distortion of colors, sights, sounds, self, and one's environment, according to

PCP is available in a variety of tablets, capsules, and colored powders, which are either smoked, taken orally, or by the intranasal route ("snorted").

A local father who spoke to Samoa News said, "This is scary. First we had weed (marijuana), and then came meth ("ice"), and now we have to worry about things like PCP, heroin, and cocaine? We really need to band together as a community to keep these things out, for the sake of our kids."

He continued, “I had a nephew who was addicted to cocaine and I saw first hand the effects of drugs on a person. It's not a pretty thing. It's expensive, it's damaging, and it's a killer.”