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Man with long criminal history faces drug and attempted burglary charges

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The government has charged a 28-year-old man with unlawful possession of illegal drugs and for trying to break into a store in Futiga in November of last year. Iulio Afasene, a.k.a “JULIO” made his initial appearance in District Court last week.

Afasene, who has a long criminal history, is charged with unlawful possession of the controlled substance, marijuana, resisting arrest and attempted burglary in the second degree - all class D felonies, along with disturbing the public peace (PPD), a class B misdemeanor.

Judge Elvis P. Patea established Afasene’s bond at $5,000. If he posts bond, the court has ordered the usual restrictions, including he not set foot in the store he allegedly tried to break into and enter, and to not make any contact with the government's witnesses.

According to the government’s case, a man informed police about a male who tried to break into a store in Leone by throwing rocks at the back door on the night of Nov. 3, 2019.

Police responded to the call but were unable to locate the suspect. However, two weeks ago, Apr. 5th, the same reporter contacted police again, telling them the man he saw trying to break into the store in November of last year was within sight.

When police arrived, this time the witness identified the defendant, who was among other men working at a construction site for a new house in Kokoland. Police approached Afasene and asked if he could come with them to the station to discuss an important issue.

While speaking with police, Afasene immediately turned and ran away. A foot chase ensued with police, who were also helped by some of the men at the construction site.

Two hours later, Afasene was apprehended and transported to the Tafuna Police Substation for questioning. Prior to transportation, a body search was carried out during which police discovered three rolled cigarettes wrapped together inside a white blank piece of paper, along with 2 small stamp-sized baggies containing green leafy substance inside Afasene's right pocket:

Afasene told police they were marijuana cigarettes and leaves he got from a friend, who is selling marijuana on the road in the Iliili area. He did not reveal to police his friend's name.

When asked about the alleged incident where he attempted to break into a store in the village, Afasene said he doesn’t know anything about that case. He further stated to police that all of last year until February of this year, he’s worked as a Security Guard, from 9p.m until 6a.m., and he doesn’t have time to break into family houses at night.