Ten more from recent drug raids charged — that makes 16 so far
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — More charges have been filed in the drug raids that took place in Pago Pago on Aug. 31, 2023. And according to the court affidavit, add an additional raid at a residence in Pago Pago Village, as well as a second drug arrest at the Fagatogo Market, in the flurry of arrests that saw at least 24 people arrested for drugs, over a period of two days — Thursday, Aug. 31 and Friday, Sept. 1.
Samoa News reported last week Friday that two raids took place on two separate days, however the court affidavit indicates two houses were raided in Pago Pago Village on Aug. 31, based on two different search warrants served by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), bringing the count of raids up to 3.
On the same day, Thursday, it also identifies two arrests made when a search warrant was served on an individual at the Fagatogo Market.
It further lays out charges for three additional defendants that Samoa News reported on last week Friday. They were arrested during the raid on one of the houses, and includes the individual that was booked, but then released due to a medical condition, which has since been identified as a ‘doctor’s appointment’.
The count of individuals charged from the drug raids and arrests is now at 17.
MIKAELE, LOE, VAIOLA,TUPA’I, AND ILAIAKIMI
At 8 AM on August 31, 2023, a raid was conducted by detectives of the Vice and Narcotics Unit and the Criminal Investigations Division of DPS when they executed a search warrant at the home of Kiuga Mikaele and discovered seven adults and two minors inside the house of Mikaele’s residence.
In the home, Mikaele lived on the first floor of the building with his girlfriend. His bedroom was searched and detectives discovered paraphernalia on the bed and several cut up, empty straws and a stamp sized baggie, all containing crystalline substances.
All substances were tested and were positive for methamphetamine (meth).
Continuing the search of Mikaele’s home revealed two other individuals on the second floor, who were identified as Iopu Loe and Sale Vaiola. The search of the room yielded paraphernalia as well crystalline substances, found on Loe’s bed.
Another officer discovered paraphernalia in Vailoa’s left pocket, which contained a crystalline substance. Testing with a Reagent field kit revealed positive results for meth.
Two other individuals discovered in close proximity to Mikaele’s residence, identified as Desmond Tupa’i and Atu Ilaiakimi, were detained at the scene as well. Officers conducted a pat down on Tupa’i, where detectives discovered a fanny pack along with paraphernalia containing crystalline substances, which tested positive for meth.
On the same day at 11:50 AM, Mikaele, Loe, Vaiola, Tupa’i, and Ilaiakimi were Mirandized and refused to provide a statement or answer questions.
Officers booked them for confinement at TCF for 48 hours; and now each one faces one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Bail is set at $20,000 each.
MEMEA AND SITANILEI
Another search warrant was issued on an individual identified as Ofisa Memea.
Detectives observed him standing outside a vehicle engaging in a conversation with Gogo Sitanilei, who was inside the vehicle parked in the vicinity of the Fagatogo Market. The interaction between the two was appeared to be a transaction of some sort.
Detectives then approached the vehicle, and Sitanilei was promptly removed from the driver’s side and detectives conducted a search on him, where no contraband was found.
At the same time, other detectives were detaining Memea and after apprehending him, a search of his person was executed, where paraphernalia containing crystalline substances was discovered.
“Sitanilei and Memea were then transported to FPS, along with Sitanilei’s vehicle being taken in for a search. Found in Sitanilei’s vehicle was a black pouch with four cut up straws, a black Fanny pack with an empty clear glass pipe, and two other pipes containing crystalline substances.
After being informed of contraband, Sitanilei admitted to ownership of all items found in his vehicle.”
Memea and Sitanilei were both charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Bail for each is set at $20,000.
LOE, FERETI AND FA’AFILI LESA
Three additional individuals discovered at the residence of Monte Carlo Ieremia, who were mentioned in Samoa News’ article last week Friday, were also charged during the raid. The individuals were identified as Uepa Loe, Togi Fereti and Fa’afili Lesa.
After Uepa Loe was discovered at Ieremia’s residence he was searched. Contraband found on Loe’s person was paraphernalia, cut up straws with crystalline residue, a small black pouch and two joints containing green leafy substances. Contraband found on Loe revealed a positive result for meth and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, respectively.
Loe was Mirandized and refused to provide a statement, but due to health concerns — he was released for a doctor’s appointment, with the understanding that the case against him would continue.
A pat down of Togi Fereti revealed two cut up straws and one medium sized baggie, both containing crystalline substances.
Fa’afili Lesa was patted down as well, where officers found paraphernalia on her, also containing crystalline substances.
Substances found on both were tested and confirmed to be meth.
Both Lesa and Fereti were Mirandized after being brought to the police station, and both refused to provide statements or answer any questions.
Both defendants are charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Bail for each defendant — Lesa and Fereti — is set at $20,000.
Loe is facing two charges — two counts of the unlawful possession of a controlled substance, meth and marijuana.
His bail is also set at $20,000.