Man arrested for allegedly entering courthouse in possession of \ice\
A man who allegedly walked into the District Court with a pouch containing methamphetamine has been arrested and criminally charged with bail set at $80,000. David Letuli was recently released from jail after he posted bail for a separate domestic violence case. It was upon returning to the courthouse re his 'DV' case that the drugs were allegedly uncovered.
In this case, Letuli is facing charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine , as well as unlawful possession of controlled substance methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
The intent to distribute charge carries a jail term of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both, while the possession charge is punishable from five to ten years in jail, a fine from $5,000 to $20,000, or both fine and jail time.
According to the government’s case, on November 18, 2013 Captain Paulo Leuma with the Vice and Narcotics division received a call from Court Marshall Norman Heather (a former Vice and Narcotics Detective) about a possible drug case. It’s alleged that when Letuli entered the District Court, he was told of the procedures entering the court house and going through the court’s metal detector.
Court filings say that Letuli placed his belongings into a bowl next to the scanner. The belongings included a lighter, a pack of cigarettes, a cell phone, sets of keys and two bags. It’s alleged the Marshal grabbed one of the bags to be searched (as per usual procedures) and allegedly, Letuli reached over and grabbed the bag.
“Heather directed Letuli to pass through the scanner and once he went through, Heather instructed Letuli to sit on the bench inside the court house. The Marshall was concerned with the contents of the bag and Heather directed Letuli to go into the Marshall’s office.
“Upon entering, Letuli said that he has a newborn baby and his wife does not work and that is why he is selling meth,” say court filings.
Police went through the bag in question and allegedly found a plastic container which contained ten pink cut up straws, each about one inch in length, with both sides sealed. "Within each straw was a crystalline substance” which later tested positive as methamphetamine, commonly called "ice".
Court filings say Letuli told Leuma that he could not leave the bag out of his sight as it was the "only source of income for his newborn child.” The government’s case further claims Letuli told Leuma each straw cost $50.
Letuli made his initial appearance in the District Court on Tuesday, where he's represented by the Public Defender’s Office while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf.