Two men arrested for drugs — one at the Stadium and the other at the Airport
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Detectives from the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit have arrested two men for unlawful possession of illegal drugs.
James Stuart was arrested at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tafuna last Friday.
Togamamao John Letuligasenoa, a passenger on the Hawaiian Airlines flight that arrived the night of Sept. 13, 2018, was arrested yesterday morning.
The two men made their initial appearances in District Court yesterday morning. Stuart is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine, while Letuligasenoa is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; marijuana.
Assistant Public Defender Anna Wells represented both men during court proceedings yesterday, while Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn is prosecuting the case.
Judge Fiti Sunia established bond for each man at $2,000.
If they are able to post bond, the court has ordered that both defendants remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and they must surrender their travel documents to the government’s attorney. They also are ordered not to make any direct or indirect contact with all the government’s witnesses.
Stuart and Letuligasenoa are scheduled to appear in court this morning for a status hearing.
COURT AFFIDAVIT FOR STUART
The government claims that on Nov. 9, 2018, detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit arrested Stuart and another man at the Veterans Memorial Stadium for public peace disturbance during the high school football games. Both men were dropped off separately to the Tafuna Sub-Station before officers proceeded back to the football games.
Before heading out, one of the officers went back inside the Tafuna Substation to check on the two men. When the officer opened the door, he saw another male sitting next to Stuart, trying to get something from inside Stuart’s pockets.
The officer immediately pulled the male aside. He was later identified as Stuart's son. At the same time, the officer saw small pieces of broken glass near Stuart’s feet and underneath his feet was a small clear baggie containing a white substance. The officer proceeded to search Stuart’s son to see if he took anything from his dad's pockets.
When officers were able to interview Stuart’s son, he verbally stated that when he arrived at the Tafuna Substation, he went inside the office to ask his dad for a cigarette.
He said that as he was grabbing the cigarettes from inside his father’s pocket, an officer walked in and saw what he was doing.
He said the cop asked him what he was doing, before thoroughly searching him and directing him to wait outside.
The son told police that his father has a heart problem and is on multiple medications. Furthermore, according to the son, Stuart recently arrived on island and he has a habit of smoking meth when he is off island.
Stuart refused to provide any information to police. He however was acting disorderly and repeatedly accused the officers of being racist.
According to the affidavit, Stuart's blood shot eyes, slurred speech, and the strong odor of alcohol emitting from his breath confirmed that he was intoxicated.
COURT AFFIDAVIT FOR LETULIGASENOA
On Sept. 19, 2018, a DPS detective was informed by a Customs agent of a possible drug case at the airport.
According to information from the Customs agent, he allegedly found four items (paraphernalia) and two CBD (Cannabidiol — a compound found in weed or marijuana plants) oil vape bottles inside a bag belonging to Hawaiian Air passenger Togamamao John Letuligasenoa.
The Customs agent told police that the items were confiscated and turned over to the Deputy Chief of Customs for records and safekeeping until the items were tested.
The next day, the items that were confiscated from Letuligasenoa’s bag were turned over to detectives of the Vice & Narcotics Unit for testing. The two liquid bottles tested positive for THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), an active ingredient in marijuana.
The government claims that while Customs agents were conducting a regular routine inspection at the airport on the night of Sept. 13, the scanning machine alerted to one of the luggages. The bag was searched and inside were four paraphernalia pipes (Pipes are labeled as 7 pipe hi tech - with marijuana leaf pictures inside, also known as the Twisty Glass Blunt). Custom agents also found two CBD oil vape bottles.
When asked what the pipe is for, Letuligasenoa told Customs agents that the vape oil is poured inside the pipe before smoking it.
Letuligasenoa was questioned and afterwards, he was told that the items will be held until Customs gets clarification on the legality of the items found in his belongings.
Letuligasenoa told Customs agents that he had brought the item to the territory more than once and asked why they were holding it, adding that it is legal in Hawaii.
A movement profile retrieved from the Attorney General’s Office for Letuligasenoa shows that he departed the territory on Sept. 10, 2018 and arrived back on Sept. 13, 2018 during which Customs agents found the paraphernalia pipes and CBD liquid bottles.
The 4 pipes found in his luggage are commonly used in the mainland to smoke marijuana, and not commonly found in the territory.