Man exonerated in earlier stealing case, picked up on another warrant
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man with an outstanding warrant for stealing and burglary is now charged with unlawful possession of drugs after police arrested him and discovered illegal drugs in his possession.
Emau Talosaga made his initial appearance in court last month.
The government has filed two separate cases against Talosaga.
In the first case, Talosaga is charged with one count of stealing and one count of burglary, both class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a $5,000 fine, or pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment
Bail in this case is set at $10,000.
In the second case, Talosaga is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine (meth), a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five or more than ten years and a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or both.
Bail in this case is set at $5,000.
THE UNLAWFUL POSSESSION CASE
On Sept. 30, 2021 morning, Emau Talosaga, who had an outstanding warrant in his name, was seen driving a vehicle heading west by patrol officers. Talosaga’s vehicle stopped at a store in the Pavaiai area, and officers approached Talosaga, while he was still sitting in his vehicle, and informed him of the outstanding warrant.
Talosaga told police that he’s not a criminal person and he doesn’t know anything about the warrant they’re talking about.
Officers told Talosaga again to step out of his vehicle so that they could discuss the issue. Talosaga refused to leave the vehicle and attempted to turn his vehicle back on, but officers immediately grabbed Talosaga’s hand and stopped him from starting the vehicle.
But Talosaga resisted by removing his hand from the officer’s grasp and after several moments of scuffling with Talosaga, the officers were able to pull Talosaga out from his vehicle and place cuffs on him. He was then transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS).
It was during transportation to TPS that Talosaga asked one of the officers to help him to clear his name and set him free but the officer told Talosaga that whatever he wanted to speak about had to wait until they got to the TPS. Talosaga then told the officer that he had two cut-up straws containing meth on him and he’s afraid that the incident might get worse if investigators find the straws.
Upon arrival at the TPS, Talosaga was presented with copies of the outstanding warrant in his name. Talosaga was then informed that they needed to conduct an inventory search on the rental vehicle he was driving and Talosaga agreed.
The inventory search discovered three straws about an inch long and two glass pipes. The three straws and the two glass pipes all contained white crystalline substances inside.
The matter was then transferred to the DPS Vice and Narcotics Unit (VNU) for further investigation.
When questioned by VNU investigators, after he was Mirandized, Talosaga refused to make a statement to investigators. He said that he wanted to speak to his attorney first before he issued any statement regarding the matter.
Before Talosaga was transported to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) for booking and confinement, he changed his mind and informed investigators that he wanted to say something about what happened.
He told investigators that he was very disappointed on how patrol officers handled his case in front of the store in Pavaiai. He stated that officers never informed him of his constitutional rights, instead, they just pulled him out of his vehicle and arrested him while people were looking at him as if he is a bad person.
He stated that he was on his way to drop his girlfriend at her house in Vaitogi when police approached him while his vehicle was parked in front of a store parking lot in Pavaiai, while his girlfriend was inside the store. (The woman left the scene after Talosaga was arrested.)
When questioned about the drugs allegedly found in his possession, Talosaga told police that the drugs belonged to his girlfriends’ uncle who is a drug dealer. He said that on the morning of the same date he was arrested, his girlfriend’s uncle gave him a small black pouch containing three cut-up straws and 2 glass pipes all containing a white crystalline substance.
Talosaga was then transported to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) where he was booked and confined.
THE STEALING CASE FROM 2020
On May 17, 2020, the Manager of the Manu’a Store in Tafuna called the TPS regarding a stolen Galaxy Note 4X phone from the store. Several police officers responded to the call and interviewed the store manager along with several employees regarding the matter.
One store employee told officers that around 12noon, a male individual came to him and asked to look at the Galaxy Note 4X phone. The male was later identified as Emau Talosaga, the defendant in this matter.
The employee then got distracted with a store project, and forgot that he had given the phone to Talosaga.
Four hours later, another store employee noticed that the phone was missing from its display and called the store manager to inform her.
Several employees were also notified about the missing phone and the employee who had given the phone to Talosaga immediately told his boss what had happened.
Security footage was then checked and it confirmed that Talosaga left the store with the phone in his possession. When asked by officers how he, the employee who gave Talosaga the phone, came to identify Talosaga, he replied that Talosaga and he are from Tafeta.
While questioning Talosaga, in the matter of the outstanding warrant, a police sergeant remembered the matter of the stolen phone from the Manu’a’s Store.
Talosaga was then asked about the cell phone alleged to have been stolen from a store over a year ago and he stated that two days later on May 19th, he went back to the Manu’a’s store to return the cellphone and paid $40 and the matter was settled with the owner of the store.
Investigators contacted the Manu’a’s store manager and the manager told investigators that Talosaga had shown up the next day but she stopped him from entering the store until he brought back the phone, and according to the manager he has not returned the phone and she has not seen him since.
The Galaxy 4X cell phone was being sold at the Manu’a’s Store for $345.
Talosaga, along with two family members, was arrested in 2019 and charged with stealing and burglary. The two family members were later convicted for stealing and the court dismissed the burglary charges, while the charges against Talosaga were dismissed.
The government on their motion to dismiss informed the court that based on their further investigation into the matter, Talosaga was not involved in the burglary and stealing case. The two family members who initiated the crime went to Talosaga’s residence and told him about the burglary, while at the same time, officers arrived and arrested all of them.