Traffic stop nets two speeding along with open beer bottles and drugs
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested during a traffic stop last month is now facing felony charges for violating local drug laws. Thirty-six year old, Sio Williams appeared in court last month for his initial appearance.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth); one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both felonies; along with one count of prohibited place of consumption; one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of resisting arrest, both class A misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $10,000.
On Oct. 15th, 2021 around 6:30 p.m, a vehicle was pulled over for speeding by police patrolling the Iliili area. Two males were inside the vehicle, a passenger and the driver, who was later identified as Sio Williams, the defendant in this matter.
While speaking with Williams, officers observed two open bottles of beer between Williams and the passenger.
When asked about the two open beer containers, Williams told police that he was driving to the store to get beer for his uncle who owned the car; and the two open beer containers belonged to his friend (passenger). He later said, the other open beer belonged to his uncle who had been drinking inside the vehicle while it was parked at their house.
When instructed by officers to step outside of the vehicle, Williams refused. He told officers that they needed to call his uncle to confirm his statement. Again, Williams was instructed to exit the vehicle but the suspect continued to ignore the officers’ instruction — staying inside the vehicle.
Officers then opened the driver’s door and pulled Williams out of the vehicle while the suspect was trying to push officers away from him. Officers placed handcuffs on the suspect and immediately placed him inside a police unit.
Before Williams was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for further investigation, he was patted down and officers discovered a small pouch in his rear pants pocket.
When asked what was inside the pouch, Williams shook his head and said, “That’s why I refused to exit the vehicle because you don’t have the right to search me. You’re violating my constitutional rights with an illegal search.”
Officers again asked Williams what was inside the black pouch, and he replied in a low voice, “It’s stuff that belongs to me and it’s for my own personal use.” When asked about what “stuff” he was referring to, Williams replied, “it’s drugs.”
Officers opened the pouch and discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance, along with 2 small baggies containing green leafy substances.
Williams was then transported to the TPS and detectives from the Vice & Narcotics Unit were notified regarding the illegal drugs allegedly discovered during the traffic stop.
Regarding the illegal drugs, Williams told investigators that he met a man at a bus stop in Nu’uuli three days prior to the incident and the man told him to come over to his house in Iliili if he wanted to buy drugs. Williams provided to investigators the location of the house when he bought drugs and also the description of the man.
Investigators also questioned the male passenger who was in the vehicle with the suspect. The passenger corroborated Williams’s statement, saying on their way back home, Williams told him that the black pouch contained illegal drugs. The passenger was released pending further investigation.