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Warrant executed for drug bust after suspect found driving near ASCC

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was arrested after armed detectives of the DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at a home in Nu’uuli occupied by Molioo Fu’e Tuigafue, the defendant in this matter. The search warrant also included Tuigafue’s vehicle and person.

On May 6th, 2020, detectives observed Tuigafue’s blue Tundra vehicle at the ASCC and then heading east on the Malaeimi public highway. Police units followed the defendant’s vehicle and made a vehicle stop in front of the Manumalo School in Malaeimi.

Officers approached the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as Tuigafue. He was informed of the warrant issued by the court to search his house, his vehicle and his person. He complied with the search of his body and also his car for drugs, pursuant to the warrant.

The defendant was also informed that he would be taken into police custody on suspicion of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and that for officers’ safety, he was going to be placed in handcuffs.

During the body search, detectives discovered and confiscated a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine in Tuigafue’s pants. The glass pipe had a large amount of white residue inside it. The defendant was then transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for further investigation.

Upon arrival at the TPS, the defendant was asked if there was anything illegal inside his vehicle that he needed to tell them before conducting the search and he responded “yes” there’s a box underneath the driver’s seat.

During the search of the vehicle, detectives discovered the box underneath the driver’s seat containing a baggie with white crystalline powder; two empty stamp sized baggies; a cut up straw and a plastic container along with $130. The street value of drugs discovered including the white residue powder inside the glass pipe was estimated up to $800.

The white powder found inside the vehicle and inside the glass pipe from the defendant’s body was tested using the Reagent Field Test and the result was positive for methamphetamine.

Informed of his Miranda Rights, the defendant told detectives that he understood his rights and did not wish to make a statement.

All evidence discovered from the vehicle and the defendant was recorded and turned into the evidence room for record.

Tuigafue made his initial appearance in court this past Monday. He’s charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, both felonies.

Bail is set at $10,000.

Preliminary examination is set for Friday this week, May 15th at 1p.m.