‘Ice’ and marijuana continue to be the illegal drugs of choice of alleged local offenders.
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A passenger in a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation, who was taken in for questioning and later released from the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) when the 48 hour detention period expired‚ was arrested by police last week and now charged with violating local drug laws.
Danny Mika made his initial appearance last week.
He’s charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, an unclassified felony punishable by imprisonment from 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea set bail at $5,000.
During his initial appearance proceedings, Mika’s attorney informed the court that the defendant waived his rights to a preliminary examination (PX) and wished for the case to be bound over to the High Court.
Mika appeared in High Court last Friday where he entered a not guilty plea to the single charge against him.
Pretrial conference is now set for Oct. 10th.
On July 4th, 2020 about 1:20 a.m, two police officers on the Western side of the island spotted a vehicle with no license plate light. The vehicle was stopped and empty beer cans were observed inside the vehicle, which had three occupants, the driver, and two passengers.
One of the officers approached the passenger sitting in the back seat first because he kept touching his shorts. He was later identified as Danny Mika. The officer confronted Mika and asked him to step out from the vehicle because he felt unsafe seeing him with his hands in his pockets.
Mika agreed and voluntarily stepped out from the vehicle with his hands still in his pants pocket. The officer told Mika to take his hands out from his pants pockets and asked him if he had anything in his pocket that might put them (officers) in any harm’s way.
Mika responded “No”. The officer then asked Mika to take out whatever was in his pocket and had to repeat it 4 times, as according to the court affidavit, Mika kept responding that he had nothing inside his pants.
During the 4th time, Mika agreed that the officer could reach inside his pocket. The officer reached inside Mika’s back right pocket and discovered a plastic baggie. The officer then asked Mika about the contents of the baggie and Mika responded they were joints and a pipe. The glass pipe found in Mika’s possession was clean, no residue was found inside.
The officer then approached the passenger sitting in the front passenger seat, who identified himself as Avila Leo (co-defendant). According to the officer, Leo appeared to be moving around inside the vehicle like he was trying to hide something and he kept demanding that officers let him go home.
The officer then asked Leo to open the car door because there were also empty beer cans below where he was sitting.
The officer was standing facing Leo when Leo opened the door and that’s when the officer spotted a glass pipe commonly used to smoke drugs beneath his seat.
The white crystalline substance contained in the glass pipe tested positive for methamphetamine.
Both men were placed under police custody and transported to the Tafuna Police Substation for interview.
After both men were advised of their Constitutional rights, they stated that they understood their rights and did not wish to make any statement to police.
Both Leo and Mika were detained at the TCF, however, Mika was released from TCF when the 48 hour detention period expired and last week.
Last week Mika was served with the copy of the arrest warrant and placed under arrest.
A man accused of violating local drug laws was arrested and made his initial appearance in court last month.
Pulefano Fisher is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, an unclassified felony punishable by imprisonment from 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
On Aug. 3, 2020 around 2p.m, DPS Vice and Narcotics unit received information from the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) regarding a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance found on one of the individuals that was involved in a case to which they had responded.
According to the information received by investigators from responding police officers, the two individuals allegedly involved in this matter are Pulefano Fisher (defendant) and his girlfriend (who’s name was mentioned in the court affidavit, but she was not charged).
Upon meeting with the arresting officers, the evidence was then passed over to the investigators.
The government alleges that the female individual transported to the TPS for questioning, was making a lot of movement after she was place in the police unit and officers were suspicious so they conducted a pat down after she gave officers consent and also consent to search her small bag.
Nothing was found during the pat down but when searching the small bag, officers discovered a glass pipe that they immediately confiscated. Inside the glass pipe was a small portion of white crystalline substance which was later tested and it yielded positive results for methamphetamine.
After advising her of her constitutional rights, the female agreed to speak with investigators regarding the glass pipe found inside her bag.
She told investigators that the glass pipe belonged to her boyfriend Pulefano Fisher, the defendant in this matter. She stated that before she and her boyfriend left a restaurant, her boyfriend told her to put the glass pipe inside her bag but she refused.
He kept telling her to do so but she didn’t, so when they stopped at Western Union, and cops were there, she was not aware that her boyfriend had put the glass pipe inside her bag.
Fisher was also interviewed by investigators regarding the matter.
The defendant stated that he placed the glass pipe inside his girlfriend’s bag and she did not know it. When asked where he had gotten the glass pipe and white crystalline substance, Fisher refused to say.
A man arrested for disturbing the public peace in front of a family residence in Nuuuli last week has also been charged with unlawful possession of drugs.
Viliamu Te’o made his initial appearance in court last week.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, an unclassified felony punishable by imprisonment from 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both; along with one count of 3rd degree assault and public peace disturbance (PPD), both misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $10,000.
According to the government’s case, a man contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for assistance after a man assaulted his son in front of their guest house. Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the man who called for police assistance.
According to the man, who also is the father of the victim, his son was mowing the grass at the back of their house when Willie (also known as Viliamu Te’o) walked over to his son and questioned him regarding an incident that occurred two weeks ago where his son and two other male individuals assault Willie during a volleyball games.
According to the father, Te’o punched his son in the face multiple times causing his son to fall on the ground.
When asked about the incident by police officers, the victim echoed his father’s statement. He said that while he was on the ground after Te’o punched him, the defendant kicked his back twice and told him that he will shoot him if he calls police.
Te’o was apprehended by police at the location where the alleged incident took place and transported to the TPS for questioning. Before he was transported, a body search was conducted for weapons and drugs. During a pat down, two hand rolled marijuana cigarettes were discovered by police in the defendant’s rear pants pocket.
After being advised of his constitutional rights, Te’o said that he understood his rights but refused to make a statement to police.