Two more men face drug charges after stops for other matters
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The driver of a vehicle pulled over by police officers for broken license plate lights is now charged with violating local drug laws.
Monson Fuimaono made his initial appearance in court last week.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony, punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
On July 20th, 2020 about 8.55p.m, DPS Vice and Narcotics unit was informed of a matter at the Tafuna Police Station (TPS) where traffic officers stopped a vehicle for broken plate lights and discovered that the driver had no driver’s license.
Officers detained the driver and impounded the vehicle at the TPS for further investigation, and during an inventory search of the vehicle alleged drugs were discovered.
Vice and Narcotics officers were called and arrived at the TPS taking over the investigation.
According to the traffic cops’ statement to investigators they were patrolling near Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) intersection when they observed a pick-up truck with broken license plate lights in the back.
They initiated a traffic stop and after they approached the driver, they discovered that the driver, who had no driver’s license, later identified himself as Fuimaono, the defendant. Officers then detained Fuimaono and impounded his vehicle for further investigation.
During an inventory search, officers discovered a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine with a usable amount of white crystalline substance in the passenger door pocket. They also discovered a black fanny pack and Fuimaono informed the officers that it belonged to him.
Search of the fanny pack revealed a small plastic baggie with a usable amount of white crystalline substance and a government ID for Fuimaono. A later test revealed the substance as positive for methamphetamine.
Fuimaono was informed of his Constitutional rights where he stated that he understood and wished to make a statement about the drugs that were allegedly found inside his vehicle.
He admitted to investigators that he owns the fanny pack that was discovered inside his truck. He also admitted to using the glass pipe that was found in his car. He informed investigators that he got the glass pipe from a friend from his village of Nuuuli but refused to reveal the identity of his friend.
He then told investigators that he full takes the blame for the stuff that was found inside his vehicle.
A 30-year-old man from Samoa accused of burglarizing a store in Malaeimi is now facing drug charges after police allegedly discover drugs in his possession when he was taken into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning.
Vaifale made his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, an unclassified felony, punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both; along with two counts of 1st degree burglary and two counts of attempted stealing, all class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a fine of up to $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 maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment for each count.
Bail is set at $15,000.
The government stated that on July 7th, 2020 about 8:57p.m, DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit was contacted that patrol officers had detained a male individual for entering a store in Malaeimi from the side window. When patted down, officers found in the male’s possession glass pipes commonly used to smoke methamphetamine with a usable amount of white crystalline substance in all three pipes.
The male was later identified as Alosio Vaifale, the defendant in this case,.
According to one of the patrolling officer’s statement to Vice and Narcotics detectives, they were responding to a reported burglary at an Asian store in Malaeimi when they encountered the defendant still inside the store.
The officers stated that a witness reported seeing the defendant trying to break into a vehicle parked at the back of the store, before trying to enter a house behind the store. When unsuccessful, the defendant then saw the store’s back door and entered without the owner’s permission. When the storeowner saw the defendant entering from the back door he was terrified and informed the landlord about the incident.
The landlord called police who responded and found the defendant still inside the store and detained him and patted him down. During the pat down officers found the glass pipes containing white crystalline substance inside.
After being read his Constitutional rights, the defendant agreed to make a statement and admitted to police that the drugs found in his possession belong to him. He said he smoked one glass pipe before he committed the alleged crime, and he said the glass pipes found on him were given to him by a friend.
The defendant further stated to investigators that he tried to enter the house for the purpose of stealing property to sell so that he could get money to buy meth for him and his friends, however, when he was unsuccessful with burglarizing the house, he then turned to the store by breaking the back door to gain entry.
While he was inside the store looking for money, he was alarmed when a man knocked on the window and waved at him to come out. A few moments later, a police unit pulled up at the side of the store.
The defendant apologized to investigators for what he did, saying that his family kicked him out of the house and he’s looking for a place to stay.
The white crystalline substance was tested and it revealed positive results for methamphetamine. Evidence was also documented and photographed and later turned into the DPS evidence’s custodian.