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Kaisa and Louis Tai drug case continued to Oct.

fili@samoanews.com

The federal government’s case against several drug defendants including three brothers - two of whom were arrested in American Samoa last summer - has been continued to later this year, following a request from the defense teams.

The brothers in this matter  are Kaisa and Louis Tai, both arrested at their home in Pavaiai village, and their older brother John Tai, who was arrested in Carson, California. Other defendants in the case before the federal court in Honolulu, have Samoan names, including Pulaa Gatoloai who pled guilty last July under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Information revealed in court filing states that Gatoloai owed about $80,000 to a drug supplier and he will be sentenced later this year. He is currently released from custody after the plea agreement was accepted by the court.

As for the Tai brothers and the other defendants, they remain in custody, with trial initially scheduled for March this year. However, defense attorneys moved to continue trial due to the complexity of the case and the need for more time to prepare.

A hearing was held Friday on the motion to continue trial, which was granted.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Puglisi, in granting the motion, states that the court finds that justice is served by such an action and it outweighs the best interest of the public and the defendants to a speedy trial, according to court documents.

“...failure to grant the continuance would unreasonably deny” defense “reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence,” the judge states.

New trial date is now set for Oct. 2, 2012 before U.S. District Court Judge David Allen Ezra with pre trial conference scheduled for Sept. 4th before U.S. District Court Judge Barry Kurren.



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