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Man who left home without driver's license and ID charged with drug possession

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The driver of a blue truck in which investigators allegedly found a bag containing a white crystalline substance and drug paraphernalia has been arrested and charged with unlawful possession of drugs.

Taleni Iosua made his initial appearance in last month. He later waived his right to a preliminary examination and his case has been bound over to High Court.

Iosua, 40, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony punishable by imprisonment of 5-10 years, a fine between $5,000-$20,000 or both.

Bail is set at $5,000.


Two police officers were patrolling the Tafuna public highway on the early morning of June 17th when they observed a blue Frontier pick-up heading from East to West at a high rate of speed. Officers also observed that the driver of the vehicle was not wearing his seatbelt. The officers initiated a traffic stop and pulled over the blue pick-up.

Police officers approached the vehicle and the driver identified himself as Taleni Iosua, the defendant in this case. He was alone in the vehicle.

Before officers explained to Iosua the reason for the stop, the defendant quickly told officers that he forgot his driver’s license at home but it’s still valid. He also told officers that his immigration ID is also still valid but he doesn’t know where he put it.

As they spoke, officers noticed that Iosua was nervous and he made a lot of movement inside the vehicle. Iosua was informed that they were going to impound his vehicle at the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) because he did not have a driver’s license.

Before Iosua was transported to the TPS, officers conducted a body search where they found a small stamp-sized baggie containing white crystalline substance inside his right pocket. Nothing was found inside the vehicle when officers conducted an inventory search.

When asked about the drugs, Iosua admitted to police that the methamphetamine belonged to him. He told officers that he’s not a dealer but he only used meth occasionally. Iosua apologized to officers for his action and begged them for a second chance.

One hour later, Iosua’s wife arrived at the TPS with the defendant’s driver’s license and his immigration ID.