Another drug arrest, this time in Leone
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Another man was arrested Wednesday night in Leone by armed detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit, for alleged unlawful possession of illegal drugs. This is the 4th individual police have arrested this week for unlawful possession of meth.
The arrest was made after patrol police officers from the Tafuna Substation stopped a vehicle, and drugs were allegedly found inside.
During a normal patrol Wednesday night, cops noticed a vehicle with expired license plates on the road. Police officers immediately pulled the vehicle over and were able to identify the driver as Suifaiga Toala, who was informed during the stop, that he had 4 bench warrants issued by the District Court for failure to appear in court on traffic violations.
According to the government, Toala looked uncomfortable when police officers questioned him; and seemed to be trying to hide something.
When officers told Toala they were going to search his vehicle, he agreed. The search uncovered a small plastic bag containing a white substance, that looked like illegal drugs.
Toala’s vehicle was then impounded at the Tafuna substation and the Vice & Narcotics Unit was contacted to continue the investigation. Armed detectives together with K-9 dogs arrived soon thereafter.
The white substance — allegedly found inside the plastic bag — was tested and turned positive for methamphetamine. According to the government, the large quantity of methamphetamine allegedly found in the defendant’s possession proved that there was intent to distribute.
Toala was held at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) for 48-hours, while the government processed charges against him.
Yesterday morning, Toala made his initial appearance for his outstanding bench warrants for failure to appear in court; however, Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn informed the court that Toala was arrested Wednesday but the government has not yet filed charges against him.
Dunn then asked the court to continue Toala’s initial appearance to today, and the government is expected to file felony charges against him.
Before the court granted the motion, District Court Judge Fiti Sunia informed Anderson that his client has four bench warrants and each comes with a bail of $100
Toala was remanded to custody to await his appearance this morning.
STATUS HEARING ON PAGO DRUG DEFENDANTS
The two men and female who were arrested by police this week in Pago Pago and charged with unlawful possession of drugs also appeared in court yesterday for a status hearing.
They are: Sio Junior Godinet, Lyon Grey and Meriko Lomu. Counsel Anderson also represented the trio.
All three have preliminary examinations set for Thursday, May 31, at 10:30a.m.
Bail amount for Grey is set at $50,000 while Godinet and Lomu are each being held on $30,000 bail. As of press time, none of them were able to post bond and therefore, they remain in custody at the TCF.