Sio Godinet Jr. re-arrested in Pago Pago drug raid case
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The third co-defendant in a case where police raided two homes in Pago in May of this year was re-arrested by police earlier this week, after the government re-filed the case against him.
Sio Godinet Jr., one of the three individuals arrested when police executed a search warrant signed by the court on May 15 was released from prison last week Wednesday, after his case was dismissed by District Court Judge Fiti Sunia.
Detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit arrested Godinet Jr. pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court. A bail in the amount of $50,000 was established in the arrest warrant, which was served to Godinet Jr.
Godinet Jr. was seen at the District Court Monday morning, a few moments before his arrest.
Sources confirmed to Samoa News that Godinet Jr. was detained at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await his initial appearance Tuesday morning at the District Court.
Godinet was also served with the copy of the arrest warrant, which contained a list of charges against him, along with the information supporting the list of charges.
Godinet Jr’s case was dismissed without prejudice by Sunia during a preliminary hearing last Wednesday afternoon, after the court was unable to find probable cause and sufficiency to bind his case over to the High Court for arraignment.
Godinet was charged with four counts, including unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine with intent to distribute; unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana with intent to distribute, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, all class D felonies.
In delivering his decision during Godinet’s PX last week, Sunia pointed out that the four criminal charges filed by the government against the defendant, stem from an alleged incident that occurred around April of this year, which was a controlled buy.
However, the testimony, which was presented by the government’s only witness during the PX was mainly based on the incident that occurred on May 15 of this year when police officers searched the defendant’s home.
Sunia pointed out that these two alleged incidents happened at two separate times, and one cannot be used to substantiate the other. For this reason, the case against the defendant was dismissed.
“If the charges against the defendant were based on the search, the court would find probable cause to bind over the case,” he explained.
During the search at Godinet Jr.’s home in Pago Pago, police allegedly found inside a small room of one of his homes a quantity of marijuana and methamphetamine, along with drugs paraphernalia. Two other individuals were also found in the small room.
However, according to the government, Godinet Jr. was not inside the small room where drugs were allegedly found.