Drugs and a gun found inside a rental car
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two people were arrested and charged after cops allegedly discovered drugs, a gun and ammunition inside a rental vehicle they were traveling in.
The two people are Elisa Aloese, the female driver and Leaisaufeau Ale, a male passenger.
Aloese is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), a felony.
Ale is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony, along with one count of unlawful possession of an unlicensed firearm and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition, both class A misdemeanors.
Aloese’s bail is set at $5,000 while Ale’s is $10,000.
On July 21, 2021, the DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit (VNU) was contacted about a matter where Patrol Officers at headquarters had discovered paraphernalia inside a rental vehicle during their routine inspection of government property after hours. The vehicle was impounded to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) waiting for the arrival of the VNU for further investigation.
Two detectives of the VNU dispatched to the reported matter, later got the chance to review the evidence and interview the patrol officers who first encountered the vehicle involved.
According to the patrolling officers’ statement to investigators, they were conducting their routine inspection when they came upon a rental vehicle parked at the tramway hill in Utulei. Officers stated that as they got closer they could see a female in the driver’s seat and a male passenger — they appeared to be arguing.
The female driver was later identified as Elisa Aloese, the defendant in this matter, and the male passenger was Leaisaufeau Ale, the co-defendant in this matter.
One officer approached the driver and knocked on the window, the door was locked, and the driver appeared to be nervous and then threw an item to the back. At the same time the passenger exited the vehicle with a blue fanny pack slung around his neck and began chatting with officers.
The officer who approached the driver’s door instructed the driver to unlock the door and exit the vehicle immediately. As the driver exited the vehicle, the officer observed a glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth on the passenger seat. Both the driver and the passenger were then detained and later transported to the TPS for further investigation.
Investigators also interviewed the other two police officers who were at the scene at the time when the paraphernalia was discovered, and they corroborated the first officer’s statement regarding what happened.
At the TPS, a search of the vehicle was conducted by other police officers where they discovered another glass pipe containing a usable amount of meth inside the overhead compartment.
The driver and the passenger were interviewed by investigators in separate rooms.
Aloese was Mirandized and said she wished to exercise her rights to remain silent.
Ale was also Mirandized and also wished to remain silent.
During the booking process, when asked about the blue fanny pack he was carrying, he informed officers that it was not his. When asked about any valuable items inside, Ale stated there was a .38 special gun inside the fanny pack and a glass pipe used to smoke meth.
Later search of the fanny pack allegedly discovered a silver Rossi .38 special revolver loaded with one live round and one spent round; and also a certain quantity of meth and other personal items such as deodorant, phone charger and earphones.
Ale informed officers that the gun belonged to a friend that he had borrowed to kill a pig for a family faalavelave. Aloese and Ale were booked and confined at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).