Man charged with burglary and drug possession
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 27-year-old man who was picked up by police, pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court, on the allegation that he unlawfully entered the home of another family and stole several items including 3 big fine mats, is now being charged with unlawful possession of drugs.
The government has filed two separate criminal cases against Filisi Amituana’i, who is not new to the court system. He made his initial appearance in District Court last week.
In the first case, Amituana’i is charged with stealing and second degree burglary, both class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $5,000 fine or, pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.
In the second case, he is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of methamphetamine — both felonies.
Bond is set at $15,000.
Amituanai’s attorney asked to reduce bail to $5,000 surety for both cases; but prosecutor Jason Mitchell pointed out that Amituana’i is not new to the court system, and his actions in these two cases show the type of person he is. Mitchell asked that bail be maintained in both cases and the court agreed.
When asked to sign the copy of the criminal complaint for the second case against him, Amituana’i refused.
On July 24, 2019, a couple reported to police that their Tafuna home was burglarized by an unknown person, and a lot of personal belongings were stolen. A week later, a woman who claimed to be Amituana’i’s aunt told police about some stolen items that were brought into their home by her nephew, the defendant.
Police spoke to a male who said it was Amituana’i who broke into the couple’s home on July 23rd, and stole personal items.
Amituana’i was picked up at his Fogagogo home and taken in for questioning. He allegedly admitted to investigators that he had broken into the couple’s home and taken a number of items on the night of July 23rd. He went on to say that some of the items he stole were sold to a man in Vaitogi in exchange for drugs, while others were given away for free to some of his friends.
Amituana’i was released after the interview, because he promised he would provide the names of the people he sold the stolen items to. At around 3:12p.m on Sept. 24th, police were on their way to execute an arrest warrant for Amituana’i when they spotted him in front of a Tafuna store.
Cops pulled over and Amituana’i was escorted to the police unit. During a pat down, a clear ziplock baggie fell from the right side of his shorts. In the baggie was what appeared to be a 1-inch hand rolled joint covered with a piece of cardboard. The contents later tested positive for marijuana.
Police also discovered a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing a white crystalline substance — which later tested positive for meth — inside a small black bag that Amituanai had on him.
Amituana’i signed the arrest warrant for the burglary case; however, he refused to make a statement regarding the marijuana joint and the broken glass pipe containing meth. When asked about the drugs, Amituana’i refused to talk but told police to go ahead with whatever they found on him. He said he understood what he did but didn’t want to offer any more information regarding the incident.
When asked about the items he allegedly stole from the couple’s home, Amituana’i told police he gave most of them to a man named Victor from Fogagogo.
Amituana’i was one of the three men the High Court sentenced to serve 28 months detention in Nov. 2012 following a sexual assault conviction for a case involving a 15-year-old girl.