DRUG CASE AGAINST COUPLE BOUND OVER TO HIGH COURT
Samuelu Tupuola and his live-in girlfriend Teroa Faletoi, the Ili’ili couple facing drug related charges following a police raid, were arraigned before Chief Justice Michael Kruse where they both entered pleas of not guilty earlier this week.
Tupuola and Faletoi are both facing unlawful possession of a controlled substance of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, possession of an unlicensed firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, while Tupuola — a former cop — faces an additional count of resisting arrest.
Court filings say, upon executing a search warrant on Tupuola’s properties, police approached him at his workplace, LBJ hospital where he works as security. Police informed the defendant at this time about the search warrant and the defendant told the police officer that he had to pick up his check, and then took off running.
It's alleged Tupuola was caught by police officers 15 yards from where he was first approached. According to the government’s case, Tupuola was caught with a yellow container and three plastic baggies of methamphetamine.
Court filings say police found $575 cash in the defendant’s wallet and pockets. Police conducted tests on the drugs found on Tupuola, which tested positive as methamphetamine and Tupuola was informed.
The government alleges that on the same day the police searched the defendant’s silver Nissan while the defendant was present and police found numerous drug paraphernalia and a Daisy power line 717 BB gun. Court filings say the couple’s residence in Ili’li was also searched and Faletoi was present during this search wherein police found medium size plastic Ziploc baggies containing methamphetamine, a special .38 handgun with ammunition, $1,000 cash, three glass pipes commonly used to smoke "ice”, approximately 1,200 empty Ziploc plastic baggies and a digital scale.
Tupuola has faced drug charges before, but they were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with the government that he would testify in a jury trial against a drug defendant several years ago. Pre-trial conference has been scheduled for the couple in March.
FORMER PRINCIPAL SENTENCED TO SERVE 100 HRS COMMUNITY SERVICE
Simon Mageo, former Samoana High School Principal, was ordered by District Court Judge John Ward to serve 100 hours of community service, after the defendant entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Mageo was initially charged with two counts of third degree assault and two charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Under the plea agreement, he pled guilty to third degree assault while the remaining charges were dismissed. The assault counts are class C misdemeanors punishable by up to 15 days in jail, a fine of up to $300 or both.
Ward also ordered Mageo to write up a comprehensive plan to create a program to prevent violence against students within the school. According to the government’s case the incident is alleged to have occurred last year in March. Court filings say a student went into the principal’s office to get an admit slip because he was absent from school the day before, and then-principal Mageo hit the student on the back of his neck twice. The student told police this was not the first time this had happened.
Another student told police that when he went into Mageo’s office to obtain an admit slip because he was sick the day before, he witnessed Mageo calling other students over and hitting them behind the neck. The student said when it was his turn, he told the defendant that he was not going to hit him. It’s alleged Mageo laughed and pulled his earlobe.
Mageo in a written statement to police admitted to slapping one of the students and pulling the other student’s earlobe.
FORMER GHC REID EMPLOYEE DENIES EMBEZZLEMENT CHARGE
A woman accused of embezzling more than $10,000 from the GHC Reid Company three years ago was arraigned in High Court yesterday morning.
Stephania Sulusulu is facing two charges of embezzlement, which she denied when she appeared before Chief Justice Michael Kruse. According to the government’s case, the incident came to light in May 2010 when finance officers with the company noticed discrepancies in the accounts for which the defendant is responsible.
Court filings say there were certain checks from companies which the defendant applied to payments for other companies— for example, a check from the North West Company made out to GHC Reid for their monthly bill was applied to the Cost U Less outstanding invoices.
This initiated the investigation into the accounts the defendant serviced. It's alleged Sulusulu was confronted by one of the manager’s at GHC Reid in May, when she was placed on unpaid suspension.
Court filings say a GHC finance officer conducted further investigation into the accounts the defendant serviced between April and May 2010, which revealed that the defendant may have embezzled up to $11,842.27 from the GHC Reid Company.
The defendant in 2011 signed a promissory note promising to repay $11,842.27. The defendant began making payments to GHC Reid between April 2011 and November 2012 — the total amount paid so far is approximately $1,050.
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