Vice & Narcotics detectives test for drugs after traffic stop
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The driver of a vehicle pulled over by police officers during a traffic stop two weeks ago for speeding is now charged with violating local drug laws.
The driver, Timothy Vailepa made his initial appearance in court two weeks ago. He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, both unclassified felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $10,000
Two police officers patrolling the Iliili road on Nov. 20th, 2020 around 2:49p.m when they observed a vehicle speeding from the west. Police officers immediately initiated a traffic stop and pulled over a 2012 Toyota pickup to the side of the road. The vehicle is registered to Agnes Vailepa and was driven by a male. The driver was later identified as Timothy Vailepa, the defendant in this case.
Vailepa did not have his driver’s license on him and was duly issued a citation. He did not have any other type of ID too, which led to the defendant being transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) while his vehicle was impounded.
Before Vailepa was escorted to the TPS, he was asked by officers if he had anything illegal on him, and he told police he did. He further stated to that the illegal drugs on him did not belong to him.
Officers conducted a body search on Vailepa and discovered two small stamp-sized baggies containing white crystalline substance in the left pocket of his pants.
Upon arrival at the TPS, officers conducted an inventory of the property inside the vehicle and discovered a red box below the rear left passenger seat that contained what appeared to be a clear pipe that is commonly used to smoke marijuana, along with black bag and his wallet that had $417 in cash.
A Vice & Narcotics Unit detective tested the contents inside the small baggies and results later revealed the substance tested positive for methamphetamine, while the contents inside the glass pipe tested positive for marijuana.
Officers later found out that Vailepa does have a driver’s license, but it had expired in April 2016.
Officers also found on the defendant during a body search approximately $600 and he stated that it was money for his small business that needed to be deposited on the following Monday.
All property and items were recorded and taken into evidence.
After being Mirandized, the defendant informed investigators that he understood his rights and he agreed to make a statement about the incident.
According to Vailepa, he has a small business at home. He works at his small farm at home and every Monday, he deposits money he earns during the week including over the weekend.
Vailepa’s vehicle was pulled over by police on a Saturday afternoon.
When asked about the illegal drugs discovered in the vehicle and in his possession, Vailepa told investigators that the illegal items found on him do not belong to him. He said he found them inside the vehicle. He also told investigators that the vehicle belongs to his aunty and he borrowed it to run his errands because his wife and her mother are using his vehicle to deliver some things to the Fagatogo Market.