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Man on probation after machete attack, tests positive for meth

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A taxi driver was arrested again last month on the allegation that he violated conditions of his 5-year probation, which was handed down by the High Court 4 years ago.

Alefosio Pele, who has been in custody since his arrest three weeks ago pursuant to an arrest warrant, appeared in court last week for a preliminary examination.

When Pele’s case was called, his attorney informed the court that his client admits to the allegation against him. When asked by the court, Pele said that on Nov. 23, 2020, when he came in for his monthly visit to Probation he took a drug test and it came up positive for meth.

He told the court that he smoked meth 3 days prior, due to a family faalavelave. The court wanted to know more about Pele’s actions that day.

“I smoked ice so I can gain strength to help out with my family function,” Pele explained. According to Probation, this was the same excuse Pele used when he tested positive for meth last year, on Apr. 3, 2019.

Pele was remanded to custody without bail. A disposition hearing is set for next month. Court records note that on Apr. 23, 2018, Pele was ordered by the High Court to serve out the remaining 10 months of his prison term, although he was allowed to work during government work-hours.

Pele was convicted of assaulting a man from Leone with a machete.

This is the second time he has violated conditions of this probation. It was during a Probation visit last year that Pele tested positive and was taken into custody.

At his probation review hearing in April 2018, Pele was told that the court had not forgotten the seriousness of his crime; but nonetheless, Pele was given another chance.

The positive drug test, says the court, clearly showed that Pele failed to abide with the court’s order to comply with all conditions of probation. Pele was ordered to serve out the remaining 10 months in jail; however, he’s allowed to be released for work, Monday-Friday, from 7a.m to 4p.m.