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Meth defendant pleads guilty to reduced charges

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Sentencing for Aneti Luana is scheduled for May 2 after the court accepted his plea agreement.

Luana, who has been in custody since his arrest last October, unable to post a $5,000 bond, appeared in High Court last week for a Change of Plea hearing.

Luana, 25, was initially charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine; and unlawful possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. But under a plea agreement with the government, which was accepted by the court, Luana pled guilty to a lesser, amended charge. In return, the remaining charge was dismissed.

In court this week, Luana admitted that on Oct. 11, 2018 he unlawfully possessed three small stamp sized baggies containing meth.

According to terms of the plea agreement, police were notified by a man who witnessed Luana selling something that looked like meth to other young men behind the Fagatogo Market. Several police officers responded to the call and immediately located Luana behind the market.

As police were approaching Luana, the defendant fled the scene and ran towards the nearby Fagatogo Square. A few moments later, he was apprehended and taken in for questioning.

During a body search, police discovered three small stamp sized baggies containing methamphetamine inside the right pocket of his pants. Luana told police the baggies belonged to the man named Tee, and he had already sold two baggies to his friends for $10 a piece.