Two days of recent separate drug raids see six currently charged
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Rumors have been rampant in the local community about drug raids in the village of Pago Pago that allegedly swept up at least 24 individuals. Two affidavits from the court have since shed some light on the raids, and Samoa News should point out that it’s possible more individuals will be charged, but there has been no reliable confirmation of this.
There were two raids that took place on two separate days, a Thursday and a Friday — Aug. 31, 2023 and Sept. 1, 2023 respectively; and involved the execution of search warrants. And while the two raids took place in Pago Pago, there was an arrest that took place in Fagatogo that is related to one of the individuals apprehended in one of the Pago Pago raids.
The two court filings charge six (6) individuals in total, and indicates another individual was booked but then released due to a medical condition.
AUGUST 31, 2023
On August 31, 2023, at 8:15 AM, Department of Public Safety detectives executed a search warrant on Monte Carlo Ieremia in Pago Pago, according to the affidavit. Upon arrival at the residence of Ieremia, officers observed five adults and one minor inside and near his two homes.
Upon entering a green building belonging to Ieremia, officers found two individuals that were identified as Marlena Liaina, who is Ieremia’s biological sister, and Filipo Sione.
Officers conducted a pat down of Liaina, where they allegedly discovered paraphernalia along with a stamp size baggie, both containing crystalline substances, hidden inside her purse. Court filings state that Liaini occupies a bedroom in this house.
According to the court filing, the search inside Liaina’s room revealed several used empty cut up straws, five empty stamp size baggies, and ten small baggies, all containing a crystalline substance. During the conducting of the search, Liaina admitted to owning all evidence discovered inside her bedroom, the filing says.
Sione, who was detained at the scene, was patted down by officers who allegedly discovered two cut up straws and a stamp size baggie containing crystalline substances. These were also tested, and yielded positive results for methamphetamine, the court filing says.
Ieremia was apprehended outside of the green house — upon conducting a search of Ieremia’s bedroom, black pouches, a black fanny pack, and two paraphernalia containing crystalline substances were allegedly discovered. The substances were then tested with results being positive for meth, according to the court affidavit.
Ieremia was transported to Fagatogo Police Station (FPS), where he was Mirandized and refused to make a statement or answer any questions.
Monte Carlo Ieremia, Marlena Liaina and Filipo Sione are all being charged with a felony crime of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine (meth).
Bail amount is set at $20,000 for all three.
SEPT. 1, 2023
Two people arrested after a drug raid conducted on, Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, are now being charged.
Edward Floor was apprehended at the Pago Pago Supermarket when officers served a search warrant, which included a search of his person, vehicle, moped and his place of residence for drugs and narcotics. While conducting a pat down of Floor, Detective Tafaovale discovered a used clear cut up straw with blue stripes containing crystalline substance in Floor’s right pocket.
Floor was transported to his residence in Pago Pago, accompanied by members of the Vice and Narcotics and CID, escorting him to execute the search there, where another individual, identified as Sonny Tui was found present.
Officers entered Tui’s bedroom, where he was informed of a search warrant being conducted on the residence.
During the search of Tui’s room, officers discovered a 9mm hand-gun inside Tui’s pillowcase along with a 3030 Rifle inside his bedroom closet. Due to a medical condition, Tui was booked and then released.
Officers then proceeded to search Floor’s bedroom, and discovered eight small baggies containing crystalline substance, 5 clear cut up straws with blue stripes containing the same substance, 3 hand rolled cigarettes and a small clear package containing green leafy substances. In addition, 74.3030 rifled rounds, 12 spent 9 mm casings, digital scales, torch lighters, and other drug paraphernalia, and cash amounting to $240 were found.
The crystalline substances and green leafy substances discovered in Floor’s room were tested and revealed positive results for both meth and marijuana/ THC, respectively.
Other details revealed in court filings report that on the same day at 12:02 PM, detectives apprehended another individual by the name of Itula Sappa, also known as Stula, in Fagatogo after they observed a transaction being conducted between Sappa and Floor near the Vaivao guesthouse in Pago Pago.
Detectives then conducted a pat down of Sappa and discovered a cut up straw containing crystalline substances, where afterwards, Sappa was apprehended. Sappa then allegedly said in the presence of detectives that “a guy he knew told him to pick up the straw front the ‘palagi’, referring to Floor.
Upon arrival after transporting Sappa to the FPS, the crystalline substance discovered on Sappa’s person was tested and found positive for meth.
Sappa was Mirandized at FPS and refused to make a statement or answer questions. Sappa was then booked and transported to TCF for a 48-hour confinement.
Floor was also transported to FPS, where he was Mirandized, and refused to make a statement.
Floor is being charged with four felony crimes — two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and meth, with intent to distribute and two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (meth).
Bail amount for Floor has been set at $40,000.
Sappa was also charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, meth, and his bail was set at $20,000.