Repeat offender charged for burglary and illegal drug possession
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 27-year-old man who was picked up by police, pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court, on the allegation that he unlawfully entered the home of another family and stole several items including 2 laptops, cellphones and money, is now being charged with unlawful possession of drugs.
The government has filed two separate criminal cases against Calvin Faaolataga, who is not new to the court system. He made his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago.
In the first case, Faaolataga 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 $20,000.
Faaolataga’s attorney asked to have bail to reduced to $10,000 surety for both cases; but the prosecutor pointed out that the defendant is not new to the court system, and his actions in these two cases show the type of person he is, and asked that bail be maintained in both cases. The court agreed.
When asked to sign the copy of the criminal complaint for the second case against him, Faaolataga refused. He told the police officer in court he had already signed a form when he was questioned by police two weeks ago.
On May 24, 2020, a couple reported to police that their Tafuna home was burglarized by an unknown person. A week later, a woman who claimed to be Faaolataga’s sister-in-law told police about some stolen items that were brought into their home by her husband’s younger brother, the defendant.
Police spoke to a male who said it was Faaolataga who broke into the couple’s home on the night of May 23rd, and stole personal items. Some of the stolen items were sold to a man from Vaitogi in exchange for drugs, according to the witness’ statement to police.
Faaolataga was picked up at his friend’s house in Petesa, and taken in for questioning. He allegedly admitted to investigators that he had broken into the couple’s home and taken a number of items on the night of May 23rd. He went on to say that some of the items he stole were sold to a man in Vaitogi in exchange for drugs, while others were given away to some of his friends.
Faaolataga was released after the interview, because he promised investigators he would provide the names of the people to whom he sold the stolen items. However, two weeks later, police went to execute an arrest warrant for Faaolataga, when they spotted him in front of a Nu’uuli store.
Cops pulled over and Faaolataga was escorted to the police unit. During the pat down, a clear ziplock baggie fell from the right side of his shorts. In the baggie was what appeared to be green leafy substance. The contents later tested positive for marijuana.
Police also discovered a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing a white crystalline substance — which later tested positive for meth — inside a small black bag that Faaolataga had on him.
Faaolataga was Mirandized at the station, and said he wanted to make a statement regarding the burglary and also illegal drugs found on his possession.
According to Faaolataga’s verbal and written statement to investigators, he and two of his close friends burglarized the couple’s house in the Tafuna area and stole several personal items. Faaolataga gave investigators the names of his two friends allegedly involved in the burglary.
Faaolataga stated he was outside waiting inside his truck for his friends while they committed the burglary. The defendant confirmed that it was his vehicle that was used as the get-a-way vehicle for all three of them.
Some of the items that were stolen were sold to a man by the name “TONE” from Vaitogi for drugs. Other stolen items were sold to a couple from Happy Valley, Tafuna for cash to buy them food, beer and clothes, according to Faaolataga.
He further stated that it was his friend’s plan to burglarize the home of the elderly couple and steal items to get drugs.
When questioned about the drugs allegedly found in his possession, Faaolataga confirmed that the drugs were bought from a man in Vaitogi, in exchange for the stolen items, including 2 electric tools and a laptop. The drugs were worth $150 and it was split among the three of them.
Investigators visited the Faaolataga’s brother’s house and discovered the stolen items inside their house. According to the couple, Faaolataga usually hangs out with their oldest son at their house.
They said that on a Sunday morning, Faaolataga came to their house with 2 electric saws and a laptop and asked them if they wanted the items for $100. Faaolataga told them he needed to buy food for his elderly mother for Sunday because his sister was sick for the whole week and she didn’t get paid from her job.
The couple told investigators they only gave Faaolataga $50 because they were suspicious that these might be stolen items. They said they never used the items, but they kept them inside the room hoping that someone would come and ask for the items.
Investigators retrieved the items and later returned them to the couple who confirmed to investigators that the items belonged to them.
Faaolataga was one of the three men sentenced in High Court to serve 28 months detention in Nov. 2011 following a sexual assault conviction involving a 15-year-old girl. His probation expired last year.