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Another meth case, another overstayer, another deportation

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 24-year-old man from Samoa, who was convicted for violating the drug laws of the territory, was ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its border, as a condition of his 5-year probation sentence.

Arona Seumanuali’i, who has been in custody since his arrest last year, unable to post a $5,000 bond, pled guilty to the charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), a class D felony. Seumanuali’i appeared in Court last week for sentencing.

When given the chance to address the court, Seumanuali’i apologized for his actions, and asked for a chance to go back to Samoa to care for his parent and make use of his life to serve his church, family and village.

His attorney asked the court to accept the recommendation contained in the Pre Sentence Report (PSR) prepared by the Probation Office, and sentence his client to a probated sentence with the condition that he has to depart the territory.

After reviewing all the facts of the case, along with submissions from counsels and also the statement from the defendant, the court stated that Seumanuali’i was an overstayer from Samoa when he was arrested by police last year, after being found with a glass of pipe containing meth.

According to a report from the Immigration Office, Seumanuali’i entered the territory on a 30-day permit, where he continued to reside in the territory as an overstayer for two months before he was arrested.

According to the court, Seumanuali’i went out to party with some friends, and that’s when he landed in trouble. A storeowner refused to sell him beer due to the fact that it was after 10p.m, and Seumanuali’i became very upset and threw a rock at the window causing damage to the window and also the store’s glass door.

The storeowner contacted police for assistance and Seumanuali’i was apprehended and transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for further investigation. During a body search of the defendant, officers discovered a glass pipe containing meth in his pants’ pocket.

The court then sentenced Seumanuali’i to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. Execution of sentence was suspended and the defendant was placed on probation for the period of 5 years, subject to certain conditions, including serving a period of detention of 20 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF); time already served would be counted toward his sentence; the remaining period of detention was stayed, and he was ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its border for this stayed period.

The court ordered a copy of the court’s judgment and sentence to be served to the Immigration Office and Board, to make sure Seumanuali’i’s name is included on their office’s Lookout list.