CASE FOR LARGEST MARIJUANA SHIPMENT SET FOR JURY TRIAL
Nu’usili Suani Jr., who was arrested two months ago in connection with the largest marijuana shipment yet confiscated in the territory has asked the court for a jury trial. Suani is facing two counts of unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Each count carries a jail term of up to 20 years and /or a fine of up to $20,000.
Suani remains in police custody with bail set at $30,000 and is represented by Sharron Rancourt, while prosecuting is Assistant AG Tony Graf. Suani allegedly admitted to police he had travelled to San Francisco in August to “order his marijuana from a dispensary” and had “packed the marijuana himself,” according to court filings.
According to the government’s case, the DPS Vice and Narcotics Division was contacted by Customs Agents regarding a shipment of marijuana that came in through a container. It's alleged Customs Agents were conducting an inspection of incoming cargo when canine Grace alerted near two brown drums which had the defendant’s name on them.
Later on, the defendant appeared to claim the items and prior to Customs Agents opening the drums, they asked Suani what was inside. It is alleged the defendant stated the drums contained candies and diapers.
Court filings say the defendant stated he left the containers for his brother to ship down to him. Customs Agents opened both drums and found nine bags containing leaves, which were later tested, resulting positive as marijuana. Suani’s case has been scheduled for jury trial in September 2014.
FONO’S LEGAL COUNSEL FINED FOR DUI
Henry Kappel was slapped with a $150 fine as part of his DUI when he was sentenced following a plea deal with the government in the District Court yesterday. Kappel’s drivers license was suspended for six months, and he’s not to consume alcohol. He is banned from driving a vehicle while his license is suspended.
Kappel was arrested and charged with a DUI following an accident that occurred in Pago Pago when his vehicle swerved and rammed into a fence near the main road. Kappel posted bail for his DUI the same day of the accident.
He pled “no contest” to the DUI charge. Judge John Ward emphasized to the Fono’s legal counsel he must not operate a vehicle during the six months his license is suspended, because if he’s caught he will be charged with felony driving.
WOMAN WHO ALLEGEDLY THREATENED POLICE WITH MACHETE FIGHTS CASE
A woman who threatened police officers with a machete and is facing felony assault and public peace disturbance has vehemently denied the charges and will fight her case before a Jury Trial. Autesamoa Hari remains in police custody on bail of $20,000 and is represented by the Public Defender’s office.
The second degree assault, a class D felony punishable by up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both while the PPD count is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both.
Hari was in court for her pretrial conference yesterday. The government claims on Oct. 30, 2013 police responded to a call in Vailoatai, and upon arriving, noted Hari was carrying a machete. Court filings say Hari threatened to cut off a police officer’s head if they entered her house. “She threatened to kill anybody who got in her way.”
It's alleged police told the defendant multiple times to drop the machete but she refused. It's alleged she kept on raising the machete and swung it at one of the police officers saying, “I will cut your head off with this machete if you take one more step”. The government further claims the defendant continued to swear at the police, telling them to leave the premises.
It's alleged that after 20-25 minutes the defendant’s sister was able to remove the machete from the defendant.
Court filings say there was a family dispute between the defendant’s mother and the defendant's brother and the defendant got involved.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse scheduled the Jury Trial for this matter on July 7, 2014.