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Man ran stop sign claiming he needed take wife to hospital — popped for DUI and drugs

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A driver of a blue pick-up truck pulled over by police officers two weeks ago for failure to stop at a stop sign is now charged with violating local drug laws.

Henry Naasona was taken into custody when police discovered two small baggies containing white crystalline substance in his possession.

The government claims that while two police officers were patrolling along the Futiga highway two weeks ago, they observed a pick-up truck coming from the Iliili road that made a right turn without stopping at a stop sign.

The pick-up almost collided with another vehicle coming from Futiga road heading east. Police officers pulled the pick-up truck over. After informing the driver regarding the reason for the traffic stop, the driver was identified as Henry Naasona, 36-year old male from Taputimu. He told police that he was in a rush to pick up his wife from home to take her to the hospital.

During the conversation, officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver’s breath. When asked if he’s under the influence of alcohol, the driver replied, “Yes, and I also got some stuff on me.” Officers asked the driver what stuff he’s referring to, the driver replied, “illegal meth”.

It was at that time the driver pulled out two small baggies containing a white substance and handed it over to police officers. A pat down was conducted and nothing else was found. The driver was later transported to the Tafuna Police Station for more investigation. His vehicle was also impounded by police.

After being Mirandized, Naasona told investigators that he understood his rights and he refused to make a statement. He told investigators he needed to speak to his attorney about what happened.

Naasona made his initial appearance in court two weeks ago.

He’s charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony, along with a class A misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

Bail was set at $5,000 and Naasona is scheduled to appear in court this Thursday for his preliminary examination.