PATI JENNINGS ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Among the five men charged in connection with the burglary of a home in Mapusaga, one of the men — Pati Jennings — has entered into a plea agreement with the government. In this case three juveniles and two adults were implicated, and Tokei Siua — also known as Misi — is the adult co-defendant who’s case is pending in High Court.
Jennings, who was initially charged with stealing, burglary and receiving stolen property, pled guilty to burglary and receiving stolen property, while the government moved to dismiss the stealing count against him. During the plea agreement, which was announced in open court the defendant admitted to removing the items.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing in two weeks.
According to the court filings in this matter, the homeowners were off island between June 19, 2013 and July 3, 2013 and upon returning, discovered the following items had been removed from their home: a single barrel 20 gauge shotgun with plastic carrying case and 48 shells; five pair of shoes, an iPod; a Verizon cell phone; a red Kodak Digital Camera and a watch.
During the course of the investigation, police officers found out who had the stolen cell phone and they picked up Jennings, who told police that he and the juveniles had broken into the house. The government claims that Jennings then contacted another man who contacted Misi — whom Jennings then sold the gun to for $350.
According to court filings, the shotgun was taken into police custody because it is illegal.
DRUG DEFENDANTS ARRAIGNED IN HIGH COURT
Lady Naomi crewmember, Liki Kerisimasi, and another man, Fatu Vagana, have been charged in connection with the smuggling of marijuana into the territory last week Thursday. Vagana and Kerisimasi were arraigned in High Court on Friday and each is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of marijuana. Defendants are being held on bail of $50,000 each.
According to the government’s case, Vice and Narcotics were informed of alleged illegal activities going on at Vagana’s residence in Aoloau. Commanding officer of Vice and Narcotics, Captain Paulo Leuma was informed by a Confidential Informant (CI) that he has known Vagana since 2008, as they work together.
The CI said Vagana would come to work with loose marijuana and hand rolled marijuana joints and during breaks Vagana allegedly sold marijuana to people at the work place. Court filings say that the CI rode in Vagana’s vehicle and saw marijuana inside his vehicle.
The CI further stated that he also went to Vagana’s residence where he saw marijuana, not only at his family residence but also at the shack located behind his house in Aoloau. “The CI providing information was used several times in the past, and was found to be a credible and reliable source," say court documents.
A search warrant was executed on Vagana and police began surveillance on him last week Thursday when the Lady Naomi arrived in Port. It’s alleged Vagana drove around the town area while police followed him. Court filings say that he picked up Kerisimasi at the wharf when all passengers were through with clearance from Immigration and Customs.
According to the government’s case, police followed Vagana after he dropped off Kerisimasi at the wharf, while Vagana proceeded to the StarKist parking lot where the Vice and Narcotics approached the vehicle to execute the search warrant.
Police found in the vehicle three bundles, which tested positive for marijuana. According to the government’s case, when police questioned Kerisimasi he said he came from Apia with the package to be delivered to “someone in American Samoa who would be calling him.” Kerisimasi further told police he was suspicious that the package he had contained methamphetamine and that he became worried about it.
DICKLAN TE’O ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
A Pago Pago man accused of striking his brother on the head with a hammer has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Dicklan Te’o initially asked the High Court for a jury trial, however yesterday he moved to settle his case with a change of plea.
Te’o pled guilty to second-degree assault and public peace disturbance, which he was charged with, and admitted to the court that he had struck his brother. Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley represented him while prosecuting for the government was Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe. Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea agreement in this case and scheduled sentencing for January 17, 2014.
According to the government’s case, police received a call from the defendant’s wife who reported that her husband and his brother were arguing. According to the government’s case, the police spoke with the defendant who admitted to “doing the deed”.
The defendant explained the argument stemmed from an earlier argument regarding the immigration status of the victim’s wife, who is sponsored by the defendant. He also admitted to the police that he was consuming alcohol on the evening of the incident.