Motuliki claims she was to be paid for picking up box with ‘ice’ from post office
A 55-year-old Tongan woman from Faleniu claims she was to be paid to pick up a box from the post office, after customs agents inspected the box and found methamphetamine in it. She is being held on bail of $75,000,
Ventilate Motuliki will make her initial appearance in the District Court today on one felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, which is punishable up to 20 years in jail, a fine up to $20,000 or both.
The defendant, represented by the Public Defender’s Office, has been incarcerated since last week Thursday.
According to the government’s case, on Mar. 6, 2013 a customs officer contacted the Vice and Narcotics Division with the Department of Public Safety for assistance and Capt. Paulo Peau Leuma investigated this case. Customs officer informed the police they were holding a woman suspect, who had come to the Post Office to claim a suspicious parcel.
Court filings say, police arrived at the Post Office and were informed that Customs K9 alerted officials on a certain parcel, indicating there was an illegal substance inside the parcel, and they then waited to see who would come to the Post Office to pick up the parcel.
“Customs asked Ventilate who owned the parcel and she replied it belonged to her and was sent by her husband’s niece,” says court filings.
The defendant said the parcel came from San Francisco and Customs informed police that the defendant’s hands were shaking as if she was nervous. The Customs Officer then proceeded to inspect the parcel and they came across a pop tart box which was already opened and it contained three packages inside and one of the packages looked odd and this caught the attention of the Customs officer.
The pop tart package contained something that was wrapped in duct tape; and, when it was unwrapped a Zip-Lock plastic bag containing 11 smaller baggies of methamphetamine was found. At this time, the defendant was informed that the police were taking over the case, and she was taken to the police station, where she was questioned.
Court filings say, Motuliki informed police that the day before she claimed the box, she received a call from a girl name Vina, who once lived in American Samoa, but has since moved to California.
It's alleged the defendant told police Vina told her to pick up the box from the Fagatogo Post Office and the box contained “maka”. The defendant asked Vina what is “maka” and Vina’s husband Tito came on the phone and explained to Ventilate that “maka” is ice (methamphetamine).
“Tito also told her, he will call her back to check if the box arrived, if so, a man from Malaeloa or Vailoa would pick it up from her. “Ventilate admitted that Tito was going to pay her $500 for her service,” says court filings.
The defendant said she went to the Leone Post office, where she received a yellow slip and then she took it to the Post Office, got the box, and she turned it over to the Customs officers for inspection,where upon ‘ice’ was found inside.
Court filing says, a methamphetamine reagent field test kit was administered and it yielded positive for methamphetamine or ice.
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