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Meth so widespread — now there’s a Samoan word for it

Packages of Methamphetamine
Defendant pleads guilty to possession of ‘aisa’

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — One of the four defendants arrested after police executed two search warrants last August at two homes in Ottoville and Tafuna has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Ray “Joe” Iosefa, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $5,000 cash bond, appeared in High Court last week for a Change of Plea hearing. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill, while prosecuting was Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.

Iosefa, 36, was originally charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony punishable by 5-10 years in jail, a fine of $5,000-$20,000, or both.

However, in a plea agreement with the government, Iosefa pled guilty to the amended charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Iosefa admits that on August 28, 2018 he had on him a baggie that contained meth.

According to terms of the plea agreement, cops executed a search warrant on a white truck that was parked in front of a Malaeimi store last August. Iosefa was one of the two men  in the truck.

During a body search, officers discovered a baggie containing meth in Iosefa’s front right pocket. When asked about the baggie, Iosefa said it was ‘ice’ (aisa). He told police there were 3 of them in the truck, and they had gone to Tafuna to deliver meth to another person earlier that day. The person bought $200 worth of meth from the owner of the truck, who was later identified as Mefi Faamanatu, one of the co-defendants in this case.

Iosefa also told police that he had seen a lot of money and meth inside Faamanatu’s black pouch while he was in his vehicle. He said the baggie that was in his pocket was given to him by Faamanatu, free of charge, and he helped Faamanatu sell meth for 2 months before they were caught. According to him, Faamanatu would sell the drugs out of his Ottoville home, or deliver it.

Iosefa’s plea agreement was accepted by the court and he will be sentenced Jan. 17, 2020.


The cases against the other three co-defendants in this case, Faamanatu; Tolai Asetoto and Salati Henry, are still pending in High Court. Pretrial conference for them is next month.

Faamanatu is charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; and unlawful possession of methamphetamine, both class D felonies. He is still in custody unable to post a $15,000 cash bond.

Asetoto and Henry are each charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, and they are released on $2,500 surety bond.