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Court Report

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IMMIGRATION OFFICER SIGNS PLEA AGREEMENT
 
In a signed plea agreement with the government, Immigration officer Polone Savea will enter a guilty plea before the court in connection with the issuance of four fake ID’s for four Chinese women.
 
Savea, who’s out on bail of $40,000, has two cases filed against him. In the first case the government charged Savea and Matagi Lelili’o as co-defendants. Savea is charged with two counts of forgery and public servant acceding to corruption, while Lelilio is facing bribery of a public servant.
 
The second case filed by the government is against Savea and Jin Hua Sullivan (aka Nunu). The government however dismissed the case filed against Jin Hua Sullivan, while Savea   is charged with two counts of forgery and one count of public servant acceding to corruption.
 
According to the plea agreement which is now in the hands of the court, Savea has pled guilty to forgery, while the other remaining charges will be dismissed along with the second case filed against him.
 
After the signed plea agreement was read in open court, Chief Justice Michael Kruse called the parties to the bench and then continued the matter to this week Thursday.
 
PORT EMPLOYEE FACING DRUG CHARGES
 
A Port Administration employee who was serving 90 days in jail since October 2013 for felony driving, and was out on a work release program, was allegedly caught trying to smuggle marijuana joints into jail on New Year’s Eve.
 
Alesana Peko as part of his sentence was released from jail to work from 7a.m.- 5p.m.
 
The new drug case against Peko came to light on December 31, 2013 when during a procedural search of returning inmates into the jail, correction officers discovered two half joints in each of the defendant’s pockets.
 
Police spoke to defendant, who stated he went to his home where he obtained a marijuana joint, which he broke in two pieces and placed one in each pocket, and these were discovered during the procedural search. The marijuana tested positive. Defendant’s bail in this drug case has been set at $5,000.
 
Court filings also say Peko, who works at Airport Maintenance, is released from jail for work, however information relayed to the police by a friend of Peko’s family uncovered that from work Peko would go to his residence in Pago Pago.
 
The defendant is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and escape while on work release, which are both felonies.
 
The drug charge is punishable from five to 10 years in jail, while the escape count is a class D felony, which carries a jail term of up to five years and /or a fine of up to $5,000.
 
He was arraigned in High Court last week where he denied the charges filed against him.
 
In his felony driving case, Ward revoked the defendant’s driver’s license for life and ordered him to pay restitution, which could be between $400 and $1,200 — depending on what the government imposes to fix the damaged vehicle.
 
Peko was also ordered to pay a fine of $2,000; however, the court deferred $1900 and the defendant was ordered to pay $100 — which will be taken from the $500 bond he posted.
 
A felony driving conviction carries a mandatory jail term of 90 days.
 
It’s unclear if he’s still on work release since the new drug case has been filed.
 
LAFAELE TAUILI’ILI ARRAIGNED IN HIGH COURT, DENIES ALL CHARGES
 
A $100,00 bail has been set for a man accused of openly firing a shotgun at a child and for assaulting on duty Commanding Officer, Captain Lima Togia. The defendant, Lafaele Tauili’ili has been charged with two counts of first degree assault, unlawful use of a prohibited weapon, public peace disturbance, assault in the third degree, property damage, second degree and attempted escape from police custody.
 
Tauili’ili of Vailoa was arraigned in the High Court yesterday where he denied the charges filed against him, through his attorney. Police officer Epalahame Kava is the lead investigator in the case.
 
According to the government’s case it was reported to police the defendant had pointed a firearm towards a young man and then afterwards discharged one shot up in the air and the second shot was fired towards the young man.
 
Police dispatched to the call questioned the defendant about the complaint, and he told police he was discharging a bamboo gun (faga ofe), not a firearm. However, when police went back to the defendant's home, the defendant’s wife gave a 12 gauge rifle to police.
 
Police officers spoke to the victims, who said the defendant had pointed the gun at them, and also threatened them — stating he was going to kill somebody.  They provided two shell casings they had allegedly found where the defendant discharged the firearm. 
 
In the assault charge, court filings say that at the police station, Cpt. Togia tried to calm the defendant because he was too rowdy, he was demanding a fight and that he wanted to go home. It’s alleged the defendant head butted the officer on the chin and tried to throw a punch at the officer.



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