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Court takes up drug charges against two — meth in both cases

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Pago Pago AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who claimed a package at the Post Office on June 23, 2018, in which crystal meth was found, entered into a plea bargain with the government yesterday morning.

Michael Anthony, 36, was initially charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony punishable by a mandatory jail term of 5-10 years, a fine between $5,000- $20,000, or both.

But under the plea bargain, Anthony pled guilty to the amended charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance as a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment up to 5 years, and/or a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

Anthony admits that on or about June 23, 2018 he went to the Post Office to pick up a package (a small plastic container with the ‘Live Longer’ label), knowing there was meth inside. The meth was found in a speaker and weighed 2.8oz.

When questioned by police, Anthony said he was expecting a package from his brother in California. When informed about the illegal substance inside the package, Anthony said he was expecting something from Live Longer, but not this kind of package - with drugs inside.

As part of the plea agreement, the government is not seeking prison time for Anthony, who is out on bond. He will be sentenced Jan. 10, 2020.


A 39-year-old man accused of violating local drug laws has pled guilty under a plea agreement.

Utulua Faaliliu, who has been in custody since his arrest last year, unable to post a $5,000 surety bond, appeared in High Court last week for a Change of Plea hearing.

Faaliliu was a taxi driver when police arrested him on March 30, 2019

He was initially charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony punishable by imprisonment between 5-10 years, a fine between $5,000-$20,000 or both.

Under a plea agreement with the government, which was accepted by the court, Faaliliu pled guilty to a lesser amended charge, a class D felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 5 years and a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.

Faaliliu admits that he had a glass pipe containing meth on him,  on the day in question. Sentencing is Jan. 9, 2020.

Defense attorney Rob McNeill asked the court to release his client on his own recognizance, after the court accepted the plea agreement. There was no objection from the prosecutor.

The court then ordered the defendant to be released to the custody of the Chief Probation Officer for testing, to determine whether he’s drug and alcohol free, and to make sure he’s in compliance with Immigration laws.

Faaliliu was subsequently released. His drug test was negative and his ID is still valid.