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Samoa citizen caught with meth ordered to leave the territory

Meth pipe on mirror

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 32-year-old man from Samoa who was convicted for violating the drug laws of the territory was ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders, as a condition of his 5-year probation.

Sione Seumanu, who has been in custody since his arrest last year, unable to post a $5,000 bond, pled guilty to the charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), a class D felony. Seumanu appeared in court last week for sentencing.

When given the chance to address the court, Seumanu apologized for his actions, and asked for a chance to go back to Samoa to care for his parents and make use of his life to serve his church, family and village. Seumanu also told the court that spending many months in jail taught him a lesson — that drugs are not good for him.

His attorney asked the court to accept the recommendation contained in the Pre Sentence Report (PSR) prepared by the Probation Office, and sentence his client to a probated sentence under the condition that he has to depart the territory.

After reviewing all the facts of the case, along with submissions from counsels and also the statement from the defendant, the court stated that Seumanu was an overstayer from Samoa when he was arrested by police last year, after being found with a glass pipe containing meth.

According to a report from the Immigration Office, Seumanu entered the territory on a 30-day permit, where he continued to reside in the territory as an overstayer for two months before he was arrested.

According to Chief Justice Michael Kruse, Seumanu went out to party with some of his friends, and after his night out, he then took a taxi home. However, when the taxi got to Seumanu’s residence, the taxi driver couldn’t wake him up, as he was heavily intoxicated and asleep in the back seat.

The driver then drove his vehicle to the Tafuna Police station and dropped off the defendant there for his safety. Seumanu continued to sleep, but at the TPS.

When he woke up the next morning, the defendant then realized that he was sleeping in a different place. That is when he started to act violently and started to punch the wall inside the TPS’ conference room, leaving holes in the wall.

He was immediately apprehended by police and was placed under police custody; and when he was searched  officers discovered a glass pipe containing meth in his pants’ pocket.

The court then sentenced Seumanu to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. Execution of the sentence was suspended and the defendant was placed on probation for the period of 5 years, subject to certain conditions, including serving a period of detention of 20 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF); time already served would be counted toward his sentence; the remaining period of detention was stayed, and he sz ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders for this stayed period.

The court ordered a copy of the court’s judgment and sentence served to the Immigration Office and Board, to make sure Seumanu’s name would be included on their Lookout list.