Ads by Google Ads by Google

Woman charged in 3 separate cases involving drugs and stealing pleads out

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 35-year-old woman charged in 3 separate criminal cases — including one where she is accused of trying to smuggle methamphetamine into the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) last year — entered into a plea agreement with the government yesterday morning.

Iesnisei Matautia who has been in custody since she was arrested last October, unable to post bond, appeared in High Court yesterday morning for a Change of Plea (COP) hearing.

She is represented by Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey.

According to the terms of the plea agreement filed in court yesterday morning, Matautia was originally charged with 3 separate cases.

In the first case, the government charged her with forgery and stealing, both class C felonies. In the second case, she was charged with second degree burglary and stealing, both class C felonies, along with trespass, a class A misdemeanor. And for the third case, she was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit, methamphetamine; and unlawful possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

But under the plea agreement, Matautia pled guilty to second degree burglary and stealing in the second case — both class C felonies — punishable by imprisonment of not more than 7 years, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

With her guilty plea, Matautia admits that on Mar. 28, 2018 she unlawfully entered the home of another person with the purpose of committing a crime. While in the home, Matautia stole a laptop that was on the table, valued at more than $100. Matautia admits she stole the laptop without the consent of the owner.

Upon the court's acceptance of the defendant's guilty plea, the government moved to dismiss the two remaining criminal cases against Matautia.

One of the cases accuses her of forging the signature on a check she stole and later cashed; and the other alleges that she tried to deliver methamphetamine to the TCF.

Both sides recommended to the court that Matautia be sentenced to probation and order her to pay back the $250 for the check she stole.

Matautia is scheduled to appear in court Mar. 18, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. for sentencing.