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Cops arrest man who claims drug business would help his family

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A repeat drug offender accused of multiple meth and marijuana charges told police he bought drugs from a man named “SPUNKY” for $1,500, because he wanted to start a small family business that would bring in money and help out his family.

Anetele’a Iosua, 35, made his initial before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea last week. He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana; and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute — all felonies, punishable by imprisonment of not more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $20,000 or both, for each count.

Bail is set at $30,000 and the preliminary examination is Thursday, Feb. 26th.

If he is able to post bail, the defendant is ordered to make all of his court appearances, and he cannot leave the territory without order of the court. He is not to make any direct or indirect contact with all of the government’s witnesses.


On the night of Feb. 5th, the DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit was contacted after traffic cops allegedly found drugs in a vehicle (plate #512C) that was pulled over in front of a Tafuna store.

Three officers patrolling in the Tafuna area stopped the truck for an inoperable license plate light. Four males were in the vehicle: 3 adults including Iosua who was sitting at the passenger’s seat, and one juvenile.

Two cops approached the driver’s side with canine, Lucy, and carried out an exterior sniff of the truck. Lucy alerted to the front and rear passenger side.

A search of the vehicle’s interior was then carried out; and under the back side of the passenger’s seat, cops found a yellow envelope with four small baggies containing 56 cut-up straws with a white crystalline substance.

Police also found a small baggie containing a green leafy substance in the front compartment, and under one of the 3 passengers seat, two smaller baggies with a white crystalline substance were found.

All four males (who are all named in the court affidavit, including the juvenile) were patted down and taken in for questioning.

While two cops were searching the vehicle, one officer assigned to keep an eye on the four males who were sitting on the ground noticed Iosua making a lot of movements and also touching his pockets. When Iosua was placed inside the police unit, cops allegedly found a glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance where he had been sitting.
In a verbal statement to police, Iosua admitted to owning the drugs found in the vehicle.

According to Iosua, he bought the drugs in Vaitogi for over $1,500 from a man named Spunky, using the money he received from his plantation. He told police he wanted to start a small family business and start a drug operation that would bring in more money to fulfill that dream. Iosua refused to make a written statement.

When questioned by police, the driver of the vehicle, (who is also the vehicle’s owner), said he, along with one adult and a juvenile were heading to pick up his sister and her husband who were at a family meeting in Tafuna.

En route, they picked Iosua in front of an Asian store in Puapua.

The driver said all 4 of them were heading to Tafuna when they were pulled over in Iliili by police officers who were patrolling in the area. He said he was shocked when police found drugs in his vehicle because he doesn’t deal with drugs

The juvenile passenger who was interviewed by police in the presence of his mother echoed what the driver told police. He said he never saw anybody stick drugs under the back side of the passenger’s seat, as he was looking back when police pulled them over.

Police also interviewed the adult passenger. When asked what he was doing in the vehicle, the adult passenger said he was picked up in front of a store in Futiga by the driver, to accompany him and the juvenile to pick up the driver’s sister and her husband from Tafuna.

The adult passenger told police that when they were pulled over, Iosua passed an envelope to him and he gave it to the juvenile passenger, who refused to take it. The male passenger then hid the envelope in his shirt and when he got out of the vehicle, he threw it over a nearby rock while police were conducting a search on the vehicle.

At 10:30 p.m. that same night, three detectives along with the adult passenger went to the area where the vehicle was stopped, and police found the envelope where the adult passenger said he threw it.

Inside the envelope were 50 small baggies containing a green leafy substance; a small baggie with 25 hand rolled marijuana joints; and another small baggie with 12 cut-up straws containing a white crystalline substance.
The green leafy substance and white crystalline substance yielded positive results for marijuana and meth, respectively. The two adults were booked and held for 48 hours while the juvenile was released to his mother.

Samoa News understands the government has charged only Iosua in this matter. The other two adults were released when the 48-hour hold expired.

As of press time, Iosua is still in custody unable to post his bond.