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Slippery overstayer now in custody

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Overstayer who continually eluded police now in custody

An overstayer from Samoa who eluded police officers is finally in custody after he was arrested last month for stealing and burglary.

Fred Lasi, a.k.a Fereti Lasi made his initial appearance in court last month.

The government has filed two separate cases against Lasi.

In the first case, Lasi is charged with one count of stealing and one count of burglary, both class C felonies punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $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 a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment for each count.

Bail in this case is $10,000.

In the second case, he is charged with one count of resisting arrest, a class D felony punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a $5,000 fine or both.

Bail is this case is $10,000.

During his initial appearance, Lasi’s defense attorney informed the court that his client wished to waive his rights to a preliminary examination (PX).

An Immigration Office representative informed the court during the defendant’s initial appearance that Lasi is a Samoa citizen who’s Immigration ID expired in 2019 and there was no record of any effort by the defendant’s sponsor to renew his immigration status. As of right then, the defendant is an overstayer.

Lasi appeared in High Court last week for his arraignment and his first pretrial conference is scheduled for Dec. 22.


In May of this year, a report of a burglary involving Lasi was filed at the Tafuna Police Station (TPS). The report stated that Lasi was allegedly involved in the burglary of a home where several personal items were stolen.

Witnesses, who were questioned by investigators, stated that they saw Lasi and two other male individuals hanging around the house one afternoon before the house was ransacked and burglarized.

Some of the stolen items were given to one man who later confirmed the incident to investigators.

The man told investigators that the suspect told him that he (defendant) and two other men went inside the house at night and stole several items. The total value of the stolen items including damages to the house was over $100.


On June. 23rd, 2020, an arrest warrant was signed and issued by Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea for the arrest of Lasi for charges of stealing and burglary.

Executing the warrant took eight attempts by the police.

According to Lasi, when he was asked by investigators to make a statement regarding the alleged burglary case, he refused. Only telling investigators that this was the 8th time he had been chased by cops but he ran away because he didn’t want to go to jail. The pursuits allegedly took place over a period of 5 days in Sept. 2020.

The final pursuit and search was approximately four and a half houses from where Lasi was first spotted.