Police arrest woman who stole rental car and was carrying meth in Futiga
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young woman who was a passenger inside a rental car in which detectives discovered a huge quantity of drugs last November, was arrested last week and now faces drug charges for an incident that occurred less than two weeks ago.
Julie Uiese made her initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea last week. She is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, (methamphetamine), a felony, punishable by imprisonment between 5-10 years, a fine between $5,000-$10,000 or both. Her preliminary examination (PX) is set for this Wednesday at 11a.m.
Uiese is the wife of an inmate accused of escaping from confinement in August of last year, and allegedly shooting a man in Leone. Bond has been set at $10,000.
If she is able to post bond, Uiese is ordered to remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and she has to surrender her travel documents to the government’s attorney. She is also ordered not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses.
Uiese is represented by Assistant Public Defender Anna Whiles while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.
The government claims that on the morning of June 29, 2019, cops spotted a rental car and another vehicle parked on the side of the road in Futiga. The drivers were talking to each other, while still inside the vehicles.
The rental car driver was later identified as Uiese — the defendant — while the driver of the other vehicle was a male.
Police stopped at the scene, in an effort to find out who was driving the rental car, as the Tafuna Substation received a complaint from a woman on June 25th, claiming that one of her rental units was stolen by a woman named Julie Uiese.
According to the vehicle owner, Uiese took the car and didn’t turn it back in.
Police spotted the rental car and the other vehicle parked on the dirt road next to the Futiga Catholic Church.
Police approached the driver of the rental car to let her know about the reports regarding the rental unit being stolen.
For safety purposes, cops asked Uiese to exit the vehicle and when she did, she asked one of the officers if she could take all her property to the driver of the other car.
A cop escorted Uiese when she was taking her property to the other driver, who was still sitting inside his vehicle.
When Uiese handed over her stuff, the officer observed a small glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth, and a small stamp sized straw with a white crystalline substance that appeared to be meth.
The officer immediately seized the items from the male driver and then detained Uiese inside the police unit. Both Uiese and the male driver were taken to the Tafuna Substation for questioning.
During an inventory of the property Uiese handed over to the male driver, officers discovered one small straw of meth, one glass pipe containing meth, a lighter, 3 cell phones, and one ‘Hookah’ pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana.
In an interview with police, the male driver said Uiese came to his house to hide because the police were looking for the vehicle she was driving. He said he stopped Uiese’s vehicle and asked her to leave his residence because he didn’t want to be involved with her problems.
According to him, he has nothing to do with the drugs Uiese handed to him in the presence of police officers. He said he was there to tell Uiese to leave his residence and the reason why he accepted Uiese’s property was because he knew the police were going to take her to jail for the rental car she stole.
The man told police the items do not belong to him.
Uiese refused to make a statement.
On Nov. 2018, detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit followed up on a tip from a reliable source, regarding a man they were looking for — a man who was driving a rental car with two young ladies.
When police pulled the rental car over, two young ladies were inside, Uiese was in the passenger seat.
Drugs were found inside the car when police searched it.
Uiese along with the driver of the rental car, were both arrested and appeared in court for their initial appearance. However, Uiese’s name was never called in court and she was never charged. She was released after court proceedings that day.