Three men charged in Petesa drug bust — Misi Siua, Sui Tago Jr. and Henry O’Brien
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Three men arrested after armed detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit executed two search warrants last Thursday appeared in District Court Monday morning.
Two were arrested when police executed the search warrant on a vehicle and a home in Petesa, while a second search warrant was executed on a vehicle in Tafuna, where police also discovered drugs, and the driver of the vehicle was arrested and is now being charged.
The three men are Misi Siua, Sui Tago Jr. and Henry O’Brien and they made their initial appearances before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia Monday morning.
They were scheduled to appear again Tuesday morning in District Court for their preliminary examination (PX).
Siua, who owns the vehicle where drugs, drugs paraphernalia and money were allegedly found is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine, both class D felonies. His cash bond has been set in the amount of $15,000.
Tago Jr. and O’Brien are both charged with one count each of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine, a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both. Cash bonds for both men are at $5,000 each.
SIUA & TAGO JR. CASES
According to the government case, it was n June 28, 2018 around 12:30 when several police detectives from the Vice & Narcotics Unit executed a police search warrant on a white Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, which was parked in front of a store in Tafuna.
Police approached the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as Siua, and informed him about the search warrant and asked him to exit the vehicle. Siua was convicted for unlawful possession of illegal drugs several years ago.
Two other male individuals were also inside Siua’s vehicle. One of the two men was Tago Jr., while the other male individual who was also named in the court affidavit was later let go by police after he was searched at the Tafuna Substation.
Court affidavits stated that when asked to exit his vehicle, “Siua immediately asked one of the officers if he could help him.” Siua was patted down for weapons and detained. All three men and the vehicle were then transported to the Tafuna Substation to complete the search.
A physical body search was conducted on Siua personally and his vehicle when arrived at the Tafuna Substation. Again, Siua asked the police officer if he could help him, as the police officer opened the rear passenger side door of the vehicle, and immediately observed under the passenger side seat a black pouch with money and a white glass bulb along with other items.
When the police officer pointed to the bulb and asked Siua what the object was, Siua stated that it was a pipe and money.
Upon retrieval of the items, officers found a large glass pipe containing a thick crystalline substance, three 3.5-inch plastic baggies containing crystalline substance, one 3-inch orange colored cut up straw containing a crystalline residue, 10 empty baggies in various sizes and $1,589 USD in cash mainly in $20 dollars, bills.
The crystalline substances were tested utilizing a Methamphetamine Reagent field test kit and positive results were received for the controlled substance, methamphetamine.
Both Tago Jr. and the other male individual were conducted to the Tafuna Substation by police. The male individual was found to have no illegal drugs, while on Tago Jr. police officers allegedly discovered a baggie containing a crystalline substance in his front right pocket.
When asked what the baggie contained, Tago Jr. stated that it was ice (aisa). The crystalline substance was also tested utilizing a Methamphetamine Reagent field test kit and positive results were received for the controlled substance.
After completing the search of Siua’s vehicle, the search then moved to his residence in Petesa where 28 jumbo straws and 18 glass vials were discovered. Another vehicle belonging to Siua was also searched, but nothing was found inside.
Tago Jr. was warned of his constitutional rights in regards to the methamphetamine allegedly found in his possession.
Tago Jr. is alleged to have told police that the three of them who were inside Siua’s vehicle had gone to Vaitogi to deliver methamphetamine to another person earlier that day; and told police that the person had bought $100 worth of meth from Siua while they were there.
He also told police that he had seen a lot of money and meth inside Siua’s black pouch while he was inside Siua’s vehicle. He further added that the baggie that was found in his pocket was given to him by Siua at no charge. He said he has helped Siua sell methamphetamine for 4 months before they were caught, and that Siua would sell methamphetamine from his home in Petesa, or deliver meth if people would not come to Siua’s house.
Around 5:45 p.m. on the same day, a silver colored Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was observed and stopped by police in the Tafuna area. The driver of the vehicle was later identified as O’Brien.
Police approached O’Brien and informed him about the search warrant. When a physical search was conducted on O’Brien’s body, a glass pipe containing crystalline substance was discovered in the front right pocket of his pants.
In his statement to police after being warned of his constitutional rights, O’Brien stated he found the pipe containing crystalline substance in front of a store, where he picked it up and put it inside his pocket.
He further stated to police that he knew Siua and that he sells drugs. He stated “that everyone knew it.”