Alleged meth heads picked up for various illegal activities are now all facing drug charges
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The government has charged a 26-year-old man with unlawful possession of illegal drugs and for trying to break into a house in Pago Pago in July of this year. Pena Tagaleoo made his initial appearance in court last month after he was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant.
According to the government’s case, a man informed police about a male who tried to break into a house in Pago Pago by throwing rocks at the back door and also side windows on the night of July 26th, 2021 in an effort to gain entry into the house.
Several police officers responded to the call but were unable to locate the suspect. However, last month, the wife of the man who contacted police for the alleged burglary called the TPS, saying the man her husband saw trying to break into a house in July of this year was within sight.
When police arrived, this time the witness identified the defendant who was sitting at a bus stop in front of an Asian store in the Tafuna area. Police approached Tagaleoo and asked him if he could come with them to the station to discuss an important issue.
While speaking with police, Tagaleoo pushed two police officers away and immediately turned and ran away. A foot chase ensued and Tagaleoo was later apprehended and transported to the TPS for questioning.
Prior to transportation, a body search was carried out during which police discovered a small baggie containing green leaves inside Tagaleoo’s right pocket. He told police that the marijuana leaves found in his possession were from a friend who lived at the area called Le Filifili.
When asked about the alleged incident where he attempted to break into a store in the village, Tagaleoo said he doesn’t know anything about that case and he was never involved in any criminal behavior at the beginning of this year.
When asked why he ran away when police approached him, Tagaleoo smiled and said, “Because I had some illegal stuff in my possession when police approached me.”
Tagaleoo, who has a long criminal history, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and attempted burglary in the second degree — all class D felonies, along with disturbing the public peace (PPD), a class B misdemeanor.
Tagaleoo’s bond is set at $5,000.
If he posts bond, the court has ordered the usual restrictions, including he not set foot in the store he allegedly tried to break into, and to not make any contact with the government's witnesses.
A man was arrested by DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit last month for alleged drug possession.
Luani Saili made his initial appearance in court where the court scheduled his preliminary examination (PX) for next Thursday at 10:30a.m.
Saili is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana; and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; both felonies.
Bail is set at $10,000.
The government claims that on Nov. 19, 2021, detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit arrested Saili and another man in Tafuna for public peace disturbance The men were dropped off separately to the Tafuna Police Substation for questioning.
Before heading out, one of the officers went back inside the TPS to check on the two men. When the officer opened the door, he saw another male sitting next to Saili, trying to get something from Saili’s pockets.
The officer immediately pulled the male aside. He was later identified as Saili’s nephew. At the same time, the officer saw two hand rolled cigarettes near Saili’s feet and underneath his feet was a small clear baggie containing a white substance. The officer proceeded to search Saili’s nephew to see if he took anything from his uncle’s pockets.
When officers interviewed Saili’s nephew, he stated that when he arrived at TPS, he went inside the office to ask his uncle for the house key.
He said that as he was grabbing for the key inside his uncle’s pocket, an officer walked in and saw what he was doing.
The nephew told police that his uncle has a heart problem and is on multiple medications. Furthermore, according to the nephew, Saili has a habit of smoking meth.
Saili refused to provide any information to police. He however was acting disorderly and repeatedly accused the officers of being racist.
According to the affidavit, Saili's eyes were blood shot, had had slurred speech, and the strong odor of alcohol that was on his breath indicated that he was intoxicated.
A 32-year-old man from Leone arrested for making threatening remarks to his neighbor is now charged with violating local drug laws. Filipo Logotala made his initial appearance in court last week.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both; along with trespass and public peace disturbance, both misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $10,000.
The Tafuna Police Substation (TPC) received a phone call from a young man requesting police assistance after a man came to the family home with a knife and threatened to stab everyone in his family.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the young man who contacted police for assistance.
According to his statement to police, his family, including his parents his 26-year-old brother and three young siblings were having a good time inside their home on Sept. 14th at around 6:45p.m when a man walked in front of their house holding a knife in his right hand and a rock in his left hand and shouted out to his brother that if he continued to spread rumors about him (defendant) and his family, he would stab him or anyone of his family to death.
The man was later identified as Filipo Logotala, the defendant in this case.
Logotala then left their house without any further statement to his brother.
Two months later on Nov. 13th, two police units with several police officers inside responded to a public peace disturbance call in Taputimu after two men assaulted another man during a verbal argument inside an Asian store.
As officers investigated the PPD case, a police sergeant who was with the investigating team saw Logotala inside the store. The police sergeant knew Logotala from another PPD case with which he was also involved two months ago, but was not arrested.
The police sergeant followed Logotala inside the store and found him standing in the middle of the store. The police sergeant immediately approached Logotala and informed him about the alleged case where he went with a knife to another family and made threatening remarks to the family.
Logotala looked nervous and started to walk away from the officer, however, the officer called for other officers outside the store for assistance and Logotala was placed under police custody and transported to the TPS for further investigation.
Before the defendant was interviewed, a body search was conducted where a glass pipe containing methamphetamine and two hand-rolled marijuana joints were found in his pants pocket.
After he was Mirandized, he said that he understood his rights and refused to make a statement to police.