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Farmer pleads guilty to selling pot

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of selling hand rolled marijuana cigarettes to two men last year has entered into a plea agreement. Faamanatu Alesana, 38, of Tafuna appeared in court last week for his change of plea hearing.

Alesana, a farmer, was initially charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute; and unlawful possession of marijuana. But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Alesana pled guilty to a lesser, amended charge, a class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

Alesana admits that on Jan. 14, 2020 in Tafuna, he sold 7 hand rolled marijuana joints — for $10 a piece — to two men he claims are his regular customers.

The case was reported to police by a woman who found two joints in her husband’s pocket. A verbal argument erupted between the couple over the drugs and it ended with the woman telling police that Alesana is her husband’s cousin, and he’s been selling drugs in the village for years — but nobody has reported it to police out of fear of Alesana and his family.

A search of Alesana’s home and plantation was carried out, where police found drugs, firearms, and drug paraphernalia.

Alesana, who is out on a $5,000 surety bond, will be se