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Man busted for meth and marijuana released on his own recognizance

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested by DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit last month for alleged drug possession made his initial appearance in court last month.

Sinapati Saili is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana; and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; both felonies.

Bail is set at $10,000.


The government claims that on Nov. 19, 2020, detectives of the DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit arrested Saili and another man in Tafuna for public peace disturbance. Both men were dropped off separately at the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning.

Before heading out, one of the officers went back inside the TPS to check on the two men. When the officer opened the door, he saw another male sitting next to Saili, trying to get something from inside Saili’s pockets.

The officer immediately pulled the male aside. He was later identified as Saili’s nephew. At the same time, the officer saw two hand rolled cigarettes near Saili’s feet and underneath his feet was a small clear baggie containing a white substance. The officer proceeded to search Saili’s nephew to see if he took anything from his uncle’s pockets.

When officers interviewed Saili’s nephew, he stated that when he arrived at TPS, he went inside the office to ask his uncle for a cigarette. He said that as he was grabbing for cigarettes inside his uncle’s pocket, an officer walked in and saw what he was doing.

The nephew told police that his uncle has a heart problem and is on multiple medications. Furthermore, according to the nephew, Saili has a habit of smoking meth.

Saili was Mirandized, and told investigators that he understood his rights and he wanted to make a statement regarding what happened.

According to Saili, he was drinking beer in an abandoned shack behind his house when his friend (Faalupega Akeli who is charged with PPD and trespassing) came to visit him and handed him a yellow envelope. He opened the envelope and discovered 2 hand rolled marijuana cigarettes along with a small stamp-sized baggie containing methamphetamine.

Saili further stated to investigators that his friend Akeli always provided him with illegal drugs while he gave him money to buy alcohol and food for his family.

According to the affidavit, Saili's bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the strong odor of alcohol emitting from his breath indicated that he was intoxicated.

Investigators questioned Akeli regarding the incident where he strongly denied the allegation that he gave Saili the illegal drugs. Akeli told investigators that he went to Saili to say hello to him but Saili invited him to join his drinking session.

Akeli was released on his own recognizance after he made his initial appearance in Court last month.