Man who sold marijuana joints at the Fagatogo Market pleads guilty
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of selling marijuana to members of the public at the Fagatogo Market has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Semu Laulu, 32, was initially charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana); and unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute — both felonies.
But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Laulu pled guilty to a lesser-amended count one of the information, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of not more than 5 years and a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.
Laulu admits that on the day in question, he sold marijuana joints to several people at the Fagatogo Market for $10 each.
According to terms of the plea agreement, it was an informant that tipped off police about an unknown male inquiring about the sale of weed. The informant gave police the cellphone number of the unknown male and a police officer then made contact with him.
A marked $10 dollar bill was given to the unknown man selling the drugs — later identified as Laulu.
A controlled-buy was arranged by police, whereby an undercover cop gave Laulu $10 and in return, the cop was given a marijuana joint.
Laulu’s vehicle then took off but other police officers were alerted to pull the vehicle over. When police attempted to pull Laulu over before the stop sign in front of the Tafuna substation, Laulu kept driving and officers saw something being thrown out of the vehicle, which finally came to a stop near the stadium.
A search of the area where the object had been discarded netted a ziploc bag containing 15 hand-rolled joints that tested positive for marijuana.
Police found, in the defendant's vehicle, the marked money used in the controlled buy.
Laulu, who is still in custody unable to post a $10,000 surety bond since his arrest last year, is scheduled for sentencing July 12th.