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Drug raids yield four arrests, charges of meth and marijuana

reporters@samoanews.com

The Vice and Narcotics Division with the Department of Public Safety, who conducted two separate drug raids last week, resulted in the arrest of four men, Punefu Tuaolo, Ronald Wells, Romeo Peretania and Faima Fruean.

The first raid, which led to the arrest of Tuaolo and Wells, was conducted on Tuesday, while the second raid involving Peretania and his co-defendant Fruean was on Thursday.

Peretania and Fruean will make their initial appearances before the District Court today.

Peretania, a mechanic by trade, is held on bail of $150,000, and is facing one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to distribute, resisting arrest and public peace disturbance. Fruean a taxi driver, is facing one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

According to the government’s case prior to executing the search warrant on Peretania, Fruean was seen at Peretania’s residence. Fruean was approached by police when he left Peretania’s home. Police questioned Fruean and found a plastic baggie inside his wallet. The court document says Fruean told police that he picked up Peretania from ASCO motors and they stopped at a store, where Peretania pulled out a black round plastic container and put it in the glove compartment of Fruean’s vehicle.

Fruean said to police that when Peretania was meeting with someone in the parking lot of the store he pulled out the black plastic container and allegedly stole one small baggies containing methamphetamine, leaving five more small baggies.

According to the government’s case, when police arrived at Peretania’s residence he was working on a vehicle. It’s alleged that Peretania took off on foot and was pursued by police officers.

Court filings state that before police caught up with Peretania he stumbled and fell to the ground. It’s alleged that police found 12 small baggies containing methamphetamine and a glass pipe commonly use to smoke marijuana in Peretania’s pocket. Police also confiscated $226 in his possession.  

It’s alleged that police physically struggled with Peretania to place handcuffs on him as he kept on pulling his arms away, kicking and moving around. According to the government’s case, Peretania was also swearing at police officers.

Tuaolo and Wells made their initial appearance last week Friday.

Tuaolo, who’s held on bail of $100,000 is facing unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), possession of an unlicensed firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Wells is facing one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine). His bail is $50,000.

According to court filings the police proceeded to execute a search warrant on Tuaolo and his residence. It’s alleged that police caught up with Tuaolo in his vehicle at Malaeimi where he was pulled over. Police saw co-defendant Wells was sitting in the passenger seat.

Court filings say, it was becoming unsafe as members of the public started to crowd into where police were trying to carry out their duties. Tuaolo and police proceeded to the Central Police station where Tuaolo’s vehicle was searched. It’s alleged police found 15 baggies containing methamphetamine in a pink pouch that was between the driver and the passenger’s seat.

According to the government’s case the 12 baggies were stamp size, while three were medium size baggies. It’s alleged that also found in the pink pouch was a  plastic baggie which contained marijuana.

Police approached Wells, asking if they could talk to him, in Malaeimi, according to court filings, which allege Wells took out something and threw it on the floor and used his feet to shove it under the car seat.

Police immediately approached where Wells was sitting and found a medium plastic baggie, which contained methamphetamine. Court filing says during the search of Tuaolo’s residence police found drug paraphernalia such as cut straws and plastic baggies.

Also found was a medium size plastic baggie containing loose marijuana taped under a table in the laundry room. It’s alleged that police also found an unlicensed firearm and live ammunition.

According to police the methamphetamine that was confiscated from both cases has a street value of more than $10,000.



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