Drugs allegedly bring down two more men caught up in other infractions
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The passenger of a vehicle pulled over by police last week for a traffic violation was arrested and charged for violating local drug laws.
Teddy Taisia Ale made his initial appearance in District Court this week.
He is charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), punishable by a term of imprisonment from 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
According to the government’s case, on May 7, 2021 the Leone Police Substation (LPS) contacted the DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit (VNU) and relayed information regarding possible involvement of drugs in a traffic stop of a vehicle.
When officers approached the driver of the vehicle, the other officer observed the passenger with a can of alcohol underneath his leg. The passenger was later identified as Teddy Taisia Ale, the defendant in this matter.
Ale was transported to the LPS for further investigation. He was patted down prior to being transported, the search found a little brown bag in one of his pockets, containing a clear glass pipe with white crystalline substance inside it, and a cut up straw also with white crystalline substance inside it, 3 lighters and $15 cash.
Ale refused to make a statement when questioned by investigators.
The white crystalline substance found on Ale tested positive for methamphetamine.
JOSEPH “JOE” MALALA
A 27-year-old man is being charged with unlawful possession of drugs and for allegedly trying to break into a store in the Tafuna area.
Joseph Malala made his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago.
Malala who has a long history in the court system, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, and second degree attempted burglary — both class D felonies, along with disturbing the public peace (PPD), a class B misdemeanor.
Bond is set at $10,000.
Police were alerted by a man who reported that a young male tried to break into a Tafuna store by throwing rocks at the side glass window on the night of Mar. 30th, 2021.
Police responded to the call but were unable to locate the suspect. One month later, police from the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) responded to a call from the same area for a possible a public disturbance incident where two men were assaulting another man.
The caller was the owner of the Asian store which was involved in the previous attempted burglary matter.
Officers met up with the caller who informed police that one of the two men involved in assaulting another man was the person who attempted to break into his store last month.
Police approached the two men standing on the other side of the store and asked them if he could come with them to the station to discuss the issue. One of the two men was later identified as Joseph Malala, the defendant in this case. While speaking to police, Malala quickly turned and ran to the back of an abandoned building behind the store while his companion was still standing. A foot chase ensued.
With the help of several village people, Malala was apprehended and both men were transported to the TPS for questioning. Prior to that, a body search was conducted on both men. While the other man had nothing on him, Malala was found with 2 glass pipes containing a white crystalline substance wrapped together inside a brown paper on him.
The other man was later released after he was questioned by police.
Malala told police that his friend from Nuuuli gave him the 2 glass pipes but he didn’t reveal his friend’s name. When asked about his involvement in the alleged attempted break-in at a Tafuna store, Malala said he didn’t know anything about that case, and other men from the village had provided him with the name of the culprit.
The white crystalline substance from the glass pipes tested positive for meth.