Case against man accused of transporting drugs to Ofu — dismissed
The government’s case against a Tongan national residing in Ofu charged for violating local drug laws has been dismissed, after the High Court granted a motion by the government this week to dismiss the case.
When Mataele Toke’s case was called in court this week, prosecutor Laura Garvey informed the court that the government has filed a motion to dismiss the case against the defendant based on the court’s order.
The prosecutor further stated that the motion came after the court suppressed evidence in the case and mentioned a possible violation of the 4th Amendment rights of the defendant during the time of the search.
(4th Amendment rights is a part of the Bill of Rights. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and also sets requirements for issuing warrants: warrants must be issued by a judge or magistrate, justified by probably cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and must particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized, according to wikipedia.com)
After hearing the government’s motion, the court granted the motion and dismissed the case without prejudice.
Toke, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $20,000, surety bond was released after the hearing before Chief Justice Michael Kruse this week.
The government’s case against Toke stems from an incident when several Vice and Narcotics detectives executed a search on the person of Mataele Toke, a.k.a. Mike Toe on Thursday, Mary 21st, 2020, when he was about to sail out of the Pago Pago harbor along with other Manu’a residents on an alia boat.
It was at the beginning of this year when Vice & Narcotics detectives received numerous tips that a male by the name of Mataele Toke was selling meth in Manu’a. A Confidential Informer (CI) told police that Toke would come to Tutuila to reload his supply of methamphetamine before returning back to Manu’a via an alia.
During the search, detectives allegedly found white crystalline substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine, a partially smoked hand rolled marijuana joint that tested positive for marijuana, $135 cash, two cellphones, a 22 revolver hand gun and 22 caliber ammunition as well as drug paraphernalia.
After the search, Toke was informed of his constitutional rights and he refused to make a statement.
All evidence confiscated was recorded and photographed and turned in to the DPS evidence custodian