TOKEI SIUA JAILED IN DRUG CASE
Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced Tokei Siua to 20 months in jail, as part of his five years probation sentence. Initially the government had charged the defendant in connection with the burglary of a home in Mapusaga along with three juveniles and Pati Jennings, where Siua was faced with receiving stolen property.
However, when police executed the arrest warrant on Siua for allegedly receiving stolen property, he was placed in the police car and transported to the police sub station in Tafuna. When he exited the police car, police officers found two small stamp-sized plastic baggies containing a white substance, which was later tested as methamphetamine. Court filings say an empty plastic baggie was found on the floor where Misi was sitting.
The receiving stolen property charge came about when the defendant accepted a single barrel 20 gauge shotgun with a plastic carrying case, stolen from a home in Mapusaga Fou in 2013.
The defendant pled guilty to the charge of receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of controlled substance, a felony. During sentencing the defendant apologized for his actions noting he’s remorseful and asked the court for leniency, saying he has learned his lesson while incarcerated.
He sought forgiveness from his mother, his wife, his church and family.
His attorney Sharron Rancourt noted the defendant is a drug user and incarceration has allowed him to get over his drug problem. The court heard the defendant was the Chairman of the Tongan Community for their Parish in Fatu-o-Aiga for two years and he’s a committed leader who lends a helping hand to everyone.
Kruse sentenced the defendant to six years in jail, (one for misdemeanor and five for the drug charge) however the sentence is suspended on the conditions the defendant serves 20 months in jail, pays a fine of $2,000, remains a law abiding citizen, and refrains from consuming alcohol or uncontrolled substances. Kruse also pointed out the defendant is subject to random drug testing.
MARIA SAILELE-TUILAGI ADMITS TO STEALING AIRLINE TICKETS
An Aua woman, who claimed she worked for the American Samoa Government to purchase airline tickets from J&J World Travel, will be sentenced on March 19, 2014 after she entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Maria Sailelei Tuilagi was arrested and criminally charged after the incident was reported to the police by the owner of J&J World Travel, who had stated the defendant contacted his business in July 2011, saying she worked for the local Department of Education. She requested the purchase of six airline tickets according to court records.
During the change of plea hearing the defendant admitted to the criminal conduct, and admitted using the money.
It's alleged the Travel Agency processed the six tickets, however during the processing of payment, J&J World Travel Agency found out Sailele-Tuilagi was not an employee of ASDOE.
Court filings say police spoke to those who traveled off island, using the tickets obtained by Sailele-Tuilagi through the travel agency, and were told the defendant had offered to get them discount tickets to the mainland. One of the tickets purchased was for the defendant’s daughter, who left on a one-way ticket to to Kansas City, Missouri.
VESI SIMI FINED FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE
Vesi Simi, one of two men charged for damaging equipment belonging to McConnell Dowell in Leone, was ordered to pay restitution of $3,493 as part of his one year probation. Misi was charged with Fred Maloata, also from Leone, for vandalizing road equipment.
Each defendant was facing one count of property damage, a class D felony that carries a jail term of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. Simi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor property damage. During sentencing Simi said he was sorry for his actions and asked the court for a second chance.
Maloata’s case is pending in High Court.
Simi said that while incarcerated he’s learned a huge lesson, and assured the court that he will not consume alcohol, which had been a contributing factor in his case.
The incident was reported on October 27, 2013 by McConnell Dowell that three of their excavator machines, which were parked in Leone, had been vandalized.