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Probationer given another chance after marijuana bust

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who failed to comply with conditions of his 5-year probation has been given another chance. Probationer Tasi Sootaga was arrested in December of last year after he tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.

Sootaga appeared in court last month for a preliminary hearing, where he admitted that he failed to comply with conditions of his probation, which required him to be drug and alcohol free. According to Probation, a random urinalysis on Sootaga administered last December at the District Court came back positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Sootaga admitted to Probation that he smoked weed at his wife’s birthday party the night before.

Sootaga appeared in court last week for a Disposition Hearing, where his defense attorney asked the court not to revoke his client’s probation but instead, allow him to continue on probation. He said that after his client was released from custody last year, he complied with all conditions of probation.

According to the defense attorney, Sootaga was employed when he was arrested in December of last year. He paid his fine in full and was also current with his monthly visitations to Probation. He said his client screwed up with he smoked weed.

Sootaga apologized for his actions and asked for a chance to continue on Probation. He assured the court that he would not violate any conditions of probation.

In handing down its decision, the court told Sootaga his probation would not be revoked; however, if he fails to comply with any of the conditions set forth, he will not get any more chances.