Cops curious about open beer bottles discover ILLEGAL drugs as well
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested during a traffic stop last month is now facing felony charges for violating local drug laws. Thirty-six year old, Savelio Williams appeared in court last month for his initial appearance.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth); one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both felonies; along with one count of prohibited place of consumption; one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of resisting arrest, both class A misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $10,000.
On Apr. 15th, 2021 about 6:25 p.m, a vehicle was pulled over for speeding by police patrolling the Iliili area. Two males were inside the vehicle and the driver was later identified as Savelio Williams, the defendant in this matter.
While speaking with Williams, officers observed two open bottles of beer.
When asked about the two open beer containers, Williams told police that the they belonged to his friend (passenger). When questioned as to why there were two open beer containers inside the vehicle, Williams told officers that the other beer container belonged to the passenger while the other belonged to his uncle who owned the vehicle. He told police that his uncle had been drinking in the vehicle while the vehicle was parked outside of the house and the reason why he drove the vehicle was to buy more beer for his uncle.
When instructed by officers to step outside of the vehicle, Williams refused. He told officers that they needed to call his uncle to confirm his statement. Again, Williams was instructed to exit the vehicle but the suspect continued to ignore the officers’ instructions. He continued to stay inside the vehicle.
Officers then opened the driver’s door and pulled Williams out of the vehicle while the suspect was trying to push officers away. Officers placed handcuffs on the suspect and immediately placed him in a police unit.
Before Williams was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for further investigation, he was patted down and officers discovered a small pouch in his rear pocket.
When asked what was inside the pouch, Williams shook his head and said, “That’s why I refused to exit the vehicle because you don’t have the right to search me. You’re violating my constitutional rights with an illegal search.”
Officers again asked Williams what was inside the black pouch, and he replied in a low voice, “It’s stuff that belongs to me and it’s for my own personal use.” When asked about what “stuff” he was referring to, Williams replied, “it’s drugs.”
Officers opened the pouch and discovered a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing white crystalline substance, along with two small baggies containing green leafy substance.
Williams was then transported to the TPS and detectives from the Vice & Narcotics Unit were notified regarding the illegal drugs allegedly discovered during the traffic stop.
Regarding the illegal drugs, Williams told investigators that he met a man at a bus stop in Nu’uuli three days prior to the incident and the man told him to come over to his house in Iliili if he wanted to buy drugs. Williams provided to investigators the location of the house when he bought drugs and also the description of the man.
Investigators also questioned the male passenger who was in the vehicle with the suspect. The passenger corroborated Williams’s statement, saying on their way back home, Williams told him that the black pouch contained illegal drugs. The passenger was released pending further investigation.