After cops tell man to retrieve a beer can he threw away — they allegedly discover a big stash
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was taken into custody after police discovered drugs inside a beer can he had in his possession.
Tuipine Niko made his initial appearance in District Court this week.
He is charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) and unlawful possession of meth with the intent to distribute, both unclassified felonies, punishable by a terms of imprisonment from 5-20 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $15,000.
On May 8th, 2021, detectives of the DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit (VNU) received a call from the Leone Police Substation (LPS) of a possible drug case.
According to the government, officers of the LPS observed a man consuming alcohol at the market place in Iliili. The man was later identified as Tuipine Niko, the defendant in this case.
When Niko saw a police unit approaching his direction, he quickly stood up and entered the laundromat. Officers observed Niko throw something inside the rubbish bin at the back of the building. Officers approached Niko and asked him about the item he threw inside the rubbish pin, but Niko did not respond.
Officers instructed Niko to go and pick up the item he threw inside the rubbish bin and give it to them. Niko complied, picking up an empty beer can and handing it over. Officers opened the beer can and discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance inside it.
Also discovered inside the beer can were 9 stamp size baggies, each containing a white crystalline substance, one large baggie about 5x7 inches containing a large amount of a white crystalline substance, several empty stamp size baggies, and cash totaling more than $500.
Niko was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation for further investigation. When questioned about the drugs, he refused to make a statement to investigators regarding the incident. He wished to remain silent.
The crystalline substance found was tested and results indicated that the substance was positive for meth.
The amount of meth discovered is estimated to have a street value of around $18- $22,000.