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No drugs found during TCF raid, inmates claim “slave treatment”

They also claim 4 tested positive, not 3 as had been reported

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — It’s been almost a month since DPS Vice & Narcotics Unit raided the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) in Tafuna where no drugs were found, but inmates who were housed at the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) building in TCF are still facing consequences as a result of the raid.

Drugs and drug paraphernalia were allegedly found at TCF during a shakedown by DPS Vice & Narcotics Units, as reported by Samoa News last month.

Prior to the shakedown, the Chief Probation Officer and his team carried out drug testing as required by the High Court for certain inmates who are serving time at the TCF as a condition of probation.

Random drug tests of 8 inmates allegedly showed that three of them came up with positive results for meth. They are John Tuupo, Junior Tolupo Hodges and Wayne Gasolo a.k.a Ueni Gasolo.

Inmates from the RSAT building at TCF told Samoa News last week that no drugs were found during the shakedown, only drug paraphernalia. They also said that there were 4 inmates who tested positive with meth, not three.

The RSAT building at TCF is specifically for inmates who have been convicted for unlawful possession of illegal drugs

According to a complaint Samoa News received last week from several inmates from RSAT housing, it’s been almost a month since they were locked up in Maximum Security detention at TCF without food, water or even showers — and they have not been found to violate any TCF rules.

“We didn’t violate any TCF rules nor break any laws. No drugs were found when police raided our RSAT house, however, all of us who are housed at RSAT were immediately ordered locked up at the Max security detention for no reason,” one inmate said.

“We did not get food nor showers during the first week when we were locked up at the Max. We are locked up at the Max while all of our property including clothes and all the things we need are still at the RSAT building.”

“Why are we being locked up at the Max for no reason if no drugs were found on our possession … Why are we being treating like animals, sleeping on the cement floor without pillows nor sheets at night. We came here to serve our time, not to be treated like slaves.”

According to the complaint, 6 inmates had their drug testing as required by the High Court, 4 from the RSTA building and two from the pending house. As a result, 4 of them tested positive for meth.

They were Tu’upo, Hodges Jr, Gasolo and Sio Olomali’i, whose name was not mentioned during the first report of this incident last month.

Olomali’i, who was also housed at the RSAT building, had his room searched last and police allegedly found a glass pipe but no drugs. One inmate said the glass pipe was found outside of the RSAT building.

The raid was conducted on Friday, May 5 and Olomali’i left the territory on Sunday afternoon.

Sources confirmed to Samoa News that no drugs were found during the police shakedown at TCF last month, only drug paraphernalia, and they also explained why Olomali’i was allowed to depart immediately after he tested positive for meth.

Olomali’i, who was convicted for unlawful possession of a glass pipe containing methamphetamine was ordered by the court to serve a period of detention of 6 months, as a condition of his 5 years probation and upon release he would immediately depart the territory and remain outside of its borders for the period of his probation.

By the time he tested positive for meth, Olomali’i had already paid his return airfare ticket to Samoa, and his flight was on Sunday, May 6 at 12:30p.m. So, the decision was made that he should depart the territory as he had already paid for his ticket. (Samoa News should point out that it was not said who made the decision.)