Defendant arrested a second time for alleged possession of meth

ausage@samoanews.com

A man who was arrested by detectives of the Vice & Narcotics unit two months ago and charged with unlawful possession of crystal methamphetamine was arrested again and charged with the same unlawful possession of methamphetamine charge when police allegedly found a glass pipe with the drug inside, after stopping him, during a routine patrol, to serve a bench warrant issued by the High Court last week.

Sierra Isaia made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia last week, where he faced one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance to wit; crystal methamphetamine — a felony, and his case is now reschedule for a preliminary examination this morning at 8:30a.m.

His bond has been set in the amount of $5,000. The court issued several conditions for Isaia to abide with if he is able to post bond, including no contact with police officers who were dealing with his case.

According to the government’s case, police officers were looking for the defendant so that they could serve him a copy of the bench warrant issued by the High Court last week, after the defendant failed to appear in the High Court when his pretrial conference for the first case was called two weeks ago.

Court records show in the initial case it was on Sept. 12, 2017 while the Vice & Narcotics Unit was conducting a traffic stop in the Iliili area that a vehicle driven by the defendant was pulled over for a loud muffler. There were two people inside the vehicle, the defendant and another individual who was in the passenger seat.

After a brief confrontation with police, police officers ordered the defendant to pull his hand out of his pocket but he refused, and started to move around which caused police to worry about their safety, and resulted in the cops taking him down and searching him. During the search, illegal drugs were allegedly found in his possession.

He was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance to wit; crystal methamphetamine. Isaia’s case was bound over to the High Court, where he entered a not guilty plea to the single charge, and he was released from custody after he posted a $5,000 surety bond under certain conditions, including his appearance in Court whenever his case is call.

Isaia’s pretrial conference hearing for his first case was schedule for Dec. 01, and after he failed to appear in Court, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Police found the defendant last week during a routine patrol and allegedly again found drugs in his possession, which resulted with his second arrest for which he appeared in District Court last week.

Court documents state that on Dec.11, 2017, police officers from the Vice & Narcotics were on the road conducting a routine patrol serving bench warrants and at the same time, assisting the Tafuna Police Station with their calls due to manpower shortage.

One of the individuals who had an outstanding bench warrant for failing to appear in Court on a scheduled date was the defendant.

On the early evening on Dec. 11, several police officers from the Vice & Narcotics overhead a radio transmission about a two-car accident at or near the Louisa Laundromat in Iliili. They immediately responded to assist with the call, awaiting the Tafuna Police Station to arrive.

Three police units were on the scene to assist with the two-car accident. Police from the Vice & Narcotics assisted conducting traffic control on both sides of the main road because of the two car-accident — it was still in the east bound lane blocking that side of the road.

While police were conducting their traffic control, a maroon pickup truck driven by the defendant was spotted leading a queue of traffic eastward. Police officers waved down the defendant’s vehicle and Capt. Lima Togia approached the defendant inside his vehicle and informed him of the reason his vehicle was pulled over to the side.

Capt. Togia then explained to the defendant about the bench warrant from the Court, where the defendant responded that he doesn’t know anything about a bench warrant and that police had no reason to stop his car.

Capt. Togia then ordered him to step out of his vehicle but he refused. Court documents noted that Isaia was ordered five to six times to step out of his vehicle but he continued resisting. The exchange went on for about five minutes and the defendant continued to refuse to step out of his vehicle, which resulted in another police officer opening the door and grabbing the defendant’s hand to get him out of his car.

The defendant was very aggressive and upset and threatened Capt. Togia. The defendant was immediately placed in handcuffs for his safety and the safety of police officers.

The defendant was patted down for weapons before taking him inside the police unit for transportation to the Tafuna Police Station.

The lead investigating police officer for this case conducted the pat down search. And during the pat down, the police officer felt the right side of the defendant’s pants pocket, and felt a hard object. The police officer flipped the pocket inside out and a glass pipe fell out from the inside of the defendant’s pants pocket.

The glass pipe was later confirmed to commonly be used to smoke methamphetamine. The police officer asked the defendant what it was and the defendant responded for the police officer to get the f*** away from him and not place anything inside his pants.

The defendant was uncooperative when police tried to place him inside the police unit for transportation. The crystalline substance that was allegedly found inside the glass pipe was tested and the result was positive for methamphetamine.

After when warned of his constitutional rights, the defendant refused to make a statement.

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