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Drug defendant waives right to a preliminary hearing

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who is on 5 years probation for a drug conviction was arrested by police last week and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Wayne “Ueni” Gasolo made his initial appearance in District Court last week.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine, a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both.

Bail is set at $5,000.

Gasolo waived his rights to a preliminary hearing during his initial appearance.

He appeared in High Court this past Monday for arraignment where he entered a not guilty plea to the single charge against him.

Pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 4th, 2020.


Around 4 p.m on Aug. 21, 2020, several police officers were patrolling the Nu’uuli area, when one of the officers spotted Gasolo standing in front of a store. Gasolo has an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Gasolo was apprehended and transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning. Before Gasolo was transported to the TPS, a body search was conducted and during the pat down, police discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance.

When questioned by police, Gasolo stated that the glass pipe was given to him by another male individual named Filipo. He also stated that he had smoked from the pipe a few moments earlier before police officers arrested him.

Police tested a portion of the white crystalline substance inside the pipe and the test yielded positive results for methamphetamine.

Gasolo was also served with the copy of his warrant from the High Court for failure to comply with conditions of his probation.


In August 2017, Gasolo was sentenced by the High Court to 5 years probation after found guilty of unlawful possession of methamphetamine.

Last year, while serving his period of detention, Gasolo, along with some other inmates tested positive to meth, when a representative from the Probation Office conducted a drug test on him.

The court did not revoke Gasolo’s probation but modified it, and ordered the defendant to serve 3 months at the TCF.

During his sentencing, Gasolo apologized to the court for his actions and begged for a second chance to return home to care for his parents and serve his family. “I feel I made a mistake and I am truly remorseful for what I did. I ask the court to please forgive me,” said Gasolo.

When the court asked Gasolo what his mistake was, the defendant replied, “my crime.” “What was your crime?” the court asked, to which Gasolo replied, “unlawful possession of drugs”.