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District Court deports overstayer, issues fines and jail time for others

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA An overstayer who is being held in custody on a 'no bail' status due to his immigration situation is set to return to Samoa — once there is a sailing of the Lady Naomi.

Pea Toso appeared in District Court yesterday morning for a status hearing.

He is charged with trespassing and public peace disturbance.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill told Judge Elvis P. Patea yesterday that a return ticket to Samoa for Toso has already been purchased by his sponsor; however, to his knowledge, the Lady Naomi is not scheduled to sail today — as per the vessel's usual weekly route.

Nobody from the Immigration Office was in court yesterday to confirm who has possession of Toso's travel documents. Judge Patea then set a status hearing for next Tuesday, March 27.

In the meantime, prosecutor Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell has been ordered by the court to have Immigration take hold of Toso's travel documents and fare.

"The last thing we need is for the Lady Naomi to announce a sailing for another day and we have to go looking for Immigration to get the travel documents and ticket," Judge Patea said.


A woman who was initially facing five criminal charges stemming from an altercation last year with a family member has been sentenced to 6 months probation.

Tepora Umu was initially charged with private peace disturbance, two counts of third degree assault, property damage, and trespassing.

But under a plea agreement with the government, Umu pled guilty to private peace disturbance. In return, the remaining charges were dismissed.

With her guilty plea, Umu admits that on Nov. 17, 2018 she got into an altercation with a family member who lives next door to her.

When it was her turn to address the court, a tearful Umu said that before Christmas 2018, she and the victim settled their differences, and they have put the matter behind them.

In rendering sentence, Judge Elvis P. Patea told Umu that same thing he tells "everyone that comes before the court for similar cases."

And that is, do not take the law into your own hands. "This will only give you momentary satisfaction," Judge Patea said, adding that Umu now has a criminal record and she will be placed on probation.

In addition to 6 months probation, Umu has 30 days to pay a $100 fine. She is to remain law abiding and attend and successfully complete an anger management counseling program. Furthermore, said Judge Patea, while Umu claims the two families have remedied the situation, and although they live on the "same piece of land",  a condition of probation requires Umu not to make any contact with the victim.


The case against a Customs agent being charged with one count of stealing has been continued to next Wednesday, March 27

Anthony Atuatasi was scheduled to appear yesterday in District Court for a pretrial conference but when his case was called, his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill said his client was unable to make it because he has gout.

McNeill said he was notified of the situation by Atuatasi's uncle, who showed up to court yesterday. Furthermore, the defendant's father had contacted the PD's investigator and told him the same thing.


The two long rifle shotguns that were discovered in the government's case against Lefatia Ah Kiong are to be confiscated by police and destroyed in the presence of the Court Marshal. This was one of the orders issued by Judge Elvis P. Patea yesterday during the sentencing of Lefatia Ah Kiong.

Represented by Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill, Ah Kiong was charged with a "slew of traffic violations" and in two separate cases where he was charged with resisting arrest, and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

For the four traffic citations, Ah Kiong was ordered to pay a total of $375 in fines within 60 days.

For the charge of resisting arrest, Ah Kiong was sentenced to 90 days imprisonment. He is credited 62 days for time served and the remaining 28 days are suspended. He is to pay $100 within 60 days and he is placed on probation for 24 months, under the condition that he remain law abiding and visit the Probation Office as required, among other things.

For possessing an unlicensed firearm, Ah Kiong was sentenced to 60 days in jail. He is credited  41 days for time served and the remaining 19 days is suspended. He is placed on probation for 24 months and ordered to pay $100 within 60 days.

Ah Kiong was to be released from TCF custody Wednesday.