Alleged meth pipe found during traffic stop lands man in court
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was arrested and charged for violating local drug laws after police pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation.
The defendant, Fauamoa Ume made his initial appearance in District Court last month.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 nor more than 10 years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000.
Bail is set at $5,000.
On the early hours of Dec. 5, 2020 DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit was contacted about a matter, where traffic officers stopped a vehicle that failed to make a signal while making a turn. Upon approaching the driver, officers observed a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) inside the center console.
Detectives from the Vice and Narcotic Unit interviewed the arresting officers who initiated the traffic stop.
During the interview It was revealed that officers approached the driver and they observed a female exit from the back seat. Officers asked the female where she was heading and she informed officers that she lived nearby. Officers then released the female passenger to go home.
At the same time officers observed that the driver was a male individual later identified as Fauamoa Ume, the defendant in this matter. As one officer was chatting with the defendant, he observed a glass pipe in the center console.
Officers then asked the driver to exit the vehicle and asked him who the glass pipe belonged to. The defendant informed officers that it was not his. Officers then transported the defendant and impounded his vehicle to the TPS for further Investigation.
An inventory search was conducted on the vehicle at the TPS in the presence of the defendant. During the search, officers discovered a hand rolled marijuana joint, a cut up straw filled with white crystalline substance, and two glass pipes both containing usable amounts of meth inside.
Officers also found a propane torch, a small container and a small black pouch along with a beer can and an empty simoi baggie.
All evidence recovered was seized and referred to Vice and Narcotic Unit for further investigation.
The defendant was questioned regarding the incident and he voluntarily made a statement about what happened prior to traffic officer stopping his car.
According to the defendant’s statement to investigators, he went to visit his relative in Faga’alu and on his way back a female stopped him in front of a store in Faga’alu near the park and asked him for a ride to Iliili.
While heading west, a male individual waved them down in front of CBT in Nuuuli and asked for a lift to Malaeimi. During the ride, he noticed this male individual behind him was moving around as if he was looking for something. The defendant stated they first dropped off the male individual in Malaeimi before the driver and the female continued to Iliili.
Before reaching Vaitogi, they were pulled over by the police and he was surprised that the police found drugs in his vehicle. He believes that the drugs belonged to the male that he picked up from Nu’uuli. He does not know the identities of the female or the male that he picked up.
After obtaining his statement, the defendant was then booked and confined at the TCF.
A police captain conducted the test and it yielded a positive result for the meth and a positive result for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.
All evidence recovered was documented and later turned in to the Department’s Evidence Custodian.