Yet another marijuana charge taking up court time
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 21-year-old man accused of selling marijuana joints at the cannery last year has pled guilty.
Detectives from the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit arrested Paulo Paulo Jr. on Sept. 22, 2017 after receiving information from StarKist Samoa employees that a man was selling drugs to cannery workers.
Paulo Jr. was initially charged with two felonies: unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), and unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Under a plea agreement with the government, Paulo pled guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; marijuana. The remaining charge was dismissed.
With his guilty plea, Paulo Jr. admits that on Sept. 22, 2017 at the StarKist Samoa compound in Atu’u, he had in his possession a small bag containing 24 marijuana joints. He further admits that on the day he was arrested, he sold some of the marijuana joints to cannery employees.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse asked the defendant what he did with all the marijuana joints he had, Paulo Jr. said he sold it to cannery workers.
As part of the plea agreement, the government is recommending a probated sentence. Paulo Jr. remains in custody at the TCF, unable to post $10,000 bond.
Sentencing is set for May 31 at 9 a.m.
A 32-year-old man from Fagaima who is accused of using a rock to assault another man has been arrested and charged with second degree assault — a felony — and two misdemeanor charges: property damage and unlawful use of a weapon.
Ameperosa Vui made his initial appearance in the District Court last week where he waived his right to a preliminary examination. His next court appearance is this Thursday at 9a.m. in High Court where he is expected to enter a not guilty plea.
According to the government, Vui and the victim got into a disagreement and the victim allegedly attempted to assault Vui but in the end, it was Vui who assaulted the victim with a rock.
Vui’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender, Ryan Anderson, asked the court for a reduction in bail — from $5,000 to $1,000.
Anderson told the court his client is a hardworking man and he’s the only member of his family who works to provide for his wife and two children. He said his client is not a flight risk, and he has no intentions of leaving his family.
Prosecutor Jillian Sadler opposed the defense's motion, saying bail set by the court is the appropriate amount for the offense the defendant is accused of.
District Court Judge Fiti Sunia denied the motion and bail remains at $5,000
Meanwhile, Vui remains in custody at the TCF.