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Defendant in Petesa drug bust enters not guilty plea

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — One of the 3 defendants in the Petesa drug bust waived his rights to a preliminary examination (PX) hearing, and he appeared in High Court for arraignment this past Monday, where he entered a not guilty plea to one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

Sui Tago Jr's pretrial conference is set for Oct. 18, 2018 at 8:30a.m.

He remains in custody, unable to post a cash bond of $5,000

Tago Jr was arrested along with two co-defendants, Misi Siua and Henry O'Brien, after detectives from the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit executed a pair of search warrants early last month in Petesa.

The government alleges that police officers discovered a baggie containing a crystalline substance in Tago Jr’s right pocket during a body search.

Tago Jr is alleged to have told police that the three of them were inside Siua’s vehicle and they had gone to Vaitogi to deliver meth to another person earlier that day, and the person had bought $100 worth of meth from Siua while they were there.

He allegedly also told police that he had seen a lot of money and meth inside Siua’s black pouch while he was inside Siua’s vehicle.

According to the government, Tago Jr claims that the baggie that was found in his pocket was given to him by Siua free of charge. He said he helped Siua sell meth for 4 months before they were caught, and Siua would sell meth out of his home in Petesa, or deliver the product if people could not come to Siua’s house.

PX hearings for Siua and O’Brien are scheduled for next Thursday.

Siua is still in custody, unable to post a $15,000 cash bond. O’Brien was released last week after he posted a surety bond of $2,500