Man convicted for two marijuana cigarettes gets probation and deportation
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who entered into a plea agreement in a drug case has been ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders for the duration of his 5-year probation sentence.
Joshua Mili appeared in High Court two weeks ago for sentencing.
Mili, who has been in custody since his arrest on Dec.14, 2019, unable to post a $5,000 surety bond, was initially charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana).
But under a plea agreement with the government, Mili pled guilty to the lesser, amended charge of unlawful possession of marijuana.
With his guilty plea, Mili admits that on the day in question, he had in his possession two marijuana joints when police searched his body.
Mili apologized to the court and asked for a chance to return to his family in Samoa, so he could find a job to care for his parents.
He said what he did was wrong and apologized to the American Samoa Government for not only for breaking the law but also disobeying Immigration laws when he remained in the territory illegally.
Milii’s immigration status expired two years before he was arrested.
Attorneys from both sides asked the court to adopt the recommendation in the Pre Sentence Report (PSR), and sentence Mili to probation for 5 years.
Mili was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, but execution of the sentence is suspended, and he is placed on probation for 5 years under the condition that he depart the territory immediately and remain outside of its borders for the duration of probation.
He was also ordered to serve 20 months at the TCF. He will be credited the 14 months he served in pretrial confinement and the balance is stayed until further order of the court.
The court has ordered that a copy of the court's decision be delivered to the Immigration Office to ensure that Mili’s name is on the lookout list.
Mili’s vehicle was pulled over by police officers for a traffic violation. He was alone inside the vehicle during the traffic stop. When asked for his driver’s license, Mili told officers he lost his license. No other form of photo identification on Mili’s possession and that’s why his vehicle was impounded to the Tafuna Police Station (TPS).
Officers searched the defendant’s vehicle and discovered 4 empty cut up straws inside. When questioned about the empty cut up straws, the defendant looked nervous and told police that he did not know who owned the straws.
When questioned if he had any illegal stuff on his possession, that is when Mili admitted to officers that he had marijuana on him. During a body search, officers discovered two marijuana joints inside his pants’ right pocket.