Samoan man in Honolulu meth case to serve time in federal prison
A Samoan man in Hawai’i accused by federal agents of receiving a package containing more than 100 grams of “white crystalline substance” from a drug source in California has been sentenced by the federal court in Honolulu to serve close to six years in federal prison.
Peter Seali’itu Sagapolutele was initially charged with two drug counts but under a plea agreement, the defendant pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, while the other count was dismissed.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson last week sentenced Sagapolutele to 70 months imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. No fine was imposed on the defendant, who is ordered to self surrender by 12-noon on Oct. 15 to a federal detention center designated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, according to court documents.
Watson also imposed several conditions of supervised release, which include participating and complying with substance abuse treatment as well as random testing of alcohol and drugs. The defendant is also barred from possession of any drugs or alcohol.
The case first came to light in April of last year when the Federal Express facility next to the Honolulu airport located a suspicious parcel from an address in Sacramento, Calif., addressed to the defendant’s home in Honolulu, according to the federal complaint.
Inside the large envelope were about 110 grams of the illegal substance and a federal agent stated that “this large quantity of methamphetamine is not consistent with personal use, but rather is more consistent with distribution."
Of the total meth shipment, 81.7 grams were almost 98% pure, said court documents.
Under the 14-page plea agreement, Sagapolutele admitted he knew the parcel contained methamphetamine and it had been sent to him by “a source of supply” in Sacramento. The agreement further states the defendant agrees to being held responsible for 80.9 grams of actual methamphetamine.
The federal complaint states the defendant told federal agents of receiving four separate packages between January and April 2012, each containing crystal methamphetamine from the source of supply in Sacramento.
“Sagapolutele stated that his source also directed him to purchasers of crystal methamphetamine,” the complaint notes, and the defendant told agents he usually “got paid approximately one thousand dollars per ounce of crystal methamphetamine” wherein he would keep $500 and send the balance to the source.
There is no mention in court records or in the complaint as to whether the federal government has located, or pursued any charges against, the drug source in Sacramento.