Drug problems at TCF prompt early morning Vice & Narcotics raid
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Drugs entering the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) and prisoners having access to drugs have been an ongoing problem in the territory.
This week, drugs and drug paraphernalia were allegedly found at the TCF in Tafuna during a shakedown by the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit early Monday morning.
An inside source told Samoa News that the shakedown was a follow up move by detectives of the Vice & Narcotics Unit, regarding a package containing a huge quantity of crystalline substance which someone supposedly tried to smuggle into the TCF on early Wednesday morning, Aug. 01, 2018.
It was around 6 a.m. on Monday morning this week when several police officers stormed into TCF unannounced and started the raid. Some police officers were armed during the raid while others were not.
Areas that were included in the police raid were the Pending unit, where inmates with pending cases are held, the old Max unit, and the unit where female inmates are detained.
The source told Samoa News that it was during the raid the police discovered a glass pipe and a small quantity of crystalline substance inside the cell of one of the male inmates who is detained in the Pending unit.
According to the source, this is the same male inmate who was supposed to pick up the package containing a quantity of crystalline substance, which someone allegedly tried to smuggle into the TCF earlier this month.
The male inmate was pulled out from his cell and was taken by police for further investigation regarding this matter. The drugs and the drug paraphernalia were confiscated by police for testing and were later taken into the evidence room for evidence in this matter.
The male inmate has a pending case in High Court. He was arrested by police early last month when detectives of the Vice & Narcotic Units executed two search warrants signed by the court to search a home in Petesa and a vehicle belonging to another male individual.
It’s not clear at this time whether new charges would be filed against this male inmate.
In the meantime, police are still trying their best to locate the woman who is believed to be the person who went to the TCF front gate early this month and dropped off a package for a male inmate.
The woman, who also has several pending cases in both District Court and High Court is nowhere to be found. She’s facing drugs charges and had been released on bond.
It was after this alleged incident early this month at TCF when this woman did not appear in court when her case was called.
Samoa News understands that a bench warrant was issued by Fiti Sunia two weeks ago when the woman failed to appear.
It was during a drug sentencing hearing last year August when Chief Justice Michael Kruse told the government attorney at the time that, “I used to say that immigrants were the major industry on island, but it seems that it’s now drugs that enter the territory.
He further noted one of the conditions of the 5-year probation sentence was that the defendant was subject to random drug and alcohol testing, and that this would be conducted when he is released from jail as well as during his detention period, “because I’m not sure about the facility [TCF], whether it’s drug free or not.”
The defendant was one of the three prisoners that tested positive for meth when a random drug tests were conducted at the TCF in April of this year.