Court Report


A 55-year-old Tongan woman from Faleniu who claims she was to be paid to pick up a box from the Post Office, which customs agents had inspected and found to contain methamphetamine,  was released from jail after being incarcerated since March 2013.
Ventilate Motuliki was initially charged with one felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
In a plea agreement with the government, the woman pled guilty to the amended charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, which carries a lesser penalty. Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced the defendant to time served of 11 months as part of her five-year probation.
She was also ordered to remain a law abiding citizen, not to possess any controlled substance, and that she’s subject to random drug testing. During her plea agreement hearing, the court heard that on Mar. 6, 2013 she went to uplift a package that came through the mail for someone.
Court filings say, Customs K9 dog had alerted officials at a certain parcel, indicating there was an illegal substance inside the parcel, and they then waited to see who would come to the Post Office to pick up the parcel.
The defendant admitted to police she was supposed to get paid $500 for her service.

Repeat offender Ryan Pite, whose latest sentencing of 28 months is part of his seven-year probation sentence for burglarizing three businesses in the Tafuna Industrial Park area, was in court last week Friday for his probation revocation review.
Part of his probation term was that Pite was to remain a law abiding citizen, and his 28 months in jail was without any release what-so-ever unless for medical reasons or by order of the court. However the defendant while incarcerated for this sentence escaped from jail — for which he entered a guilty plea. Chief Justice Michael Kruse revoked Pite’s probation and ordered him to serve seven years in addition to previous criminal convictions he has pending.
Sinave Tupuola will be sentenced Mar. 15, 2014 after he entered a guilty plea yesterday in an assault case. Tupuola was charged with second degree assault and public peace disturbance charges after he allegedly struck another man with a beer bottle. Tupuola remains behind bars with bail set at $5,000 and is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White.
During the plea agreement the defendant pleaded guilty to second degree assault and the government moved to dismiss the remaining charge as part of the agreement. The plea agreement was accepted by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond.
According to the government’s case, on Feb. 8, 2013 a man walked into the Leone substation requesting assistance while his head was wrapped with a shirt which had blood on it. The victim — who was under the influence of alcohol — told police the defendant, who was also intoxicated, was upset because he wanted to get a loan of $300 from the victim but he only received $200.
The victim further stated the defendant grabbed his beer and hit the victim on his head. As a result the victim suffered two lacerations on his forehead. Police spoke to two witnesses who saw the defendant strike the victim on the head.


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