Pago burglar says he traded some of the loot for meth at “Le Aute”
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Pago Pago who was arrested and charged for burglarizing his aunty’s home told police that he had traded most of the stolen jewelry and “other stuff” at a place called “Le Aute” for methamphetamine.
Faiaoga Satele, also known as Fred Satele made his initial appearance in District Court this week. Prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell, while Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson is representing the defendant.
Satele, 33, is charged with one count of second degree burglary; and two counts of stealing, class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $5,000 fine or pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment for each count.
Bail is set at $15,000.
If he posts bond, Satele is ordered to remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory without the court’s permission, and not make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses, including the victim.
During the initial appearance, Satele waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his case was bound over to High Court. He appeared yesterday morning for arraignment where he entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to the charges.
Pretrial conference is Oct. 25th, 2019
The matter surfaced after police received a complaint from a Pago Pago family regarding their home being burglarized by unknown people while they were in Apia for vacation in July of this year.
The victim told police that she and her family returned on Aug. 18th, from a three-week vacation in Apia to find that the front door of their home had been broken and several personal items were missing.
The victim showed the inside of her home to police, who observed disarray, with scattered belongings and open doors.
The reported missing items include: 3 laptops; miscellaneous electric tools; an Amazon tablet; a set of gold earrings; gold rings; a brand new sewing machine; two pairs of Nike sandals; a 22-caliber rifle; a portable vacuum; a stand-up vacuum; two fine mats; a weed whacker; a pair of Vans; and a samurai sword.
While officers were at the victim’s home on the night of Aug.18th, trying to collect evidence, a male — also from Pago Pago — came forward and wanted to provide information that would help investigators with their case.
According to the witness, while he was at a laundromat in Pago, Fred Satele approached him and asked if he wanted to buy a laptop for $40. Furthermore, Satele offered to sell him 3 more laptops for $100 each. The witness told officers that he declined the offer from Satele and continued on with his laundry.
A week later, the victim, along with another person, went to police and told them they believe another male is involved, selling the stolen items on a Facebook site called, “American Samoa Dealz and Stealz”, a community marketplace to buy and sell items in the two Samoas.
The victim took screenshots from the online site and sent it over to police, showing “for sale” posts of items believed to have been stolen during the burglary.
Another Facebook image the victim sent to police showed Satele holding a 22. caliber rifle, believed to be the same as the one taken during the burglary.
Satele was picked up from his home in Pago and taken in for questioning. During the interview, he verbally stated that he had broken into his aunty’s home and taken a number of items in July of this year.
He added that he had traded most of the jewelry and other stuff at a place called, “Le Aute” for meth; while other items were given to his friend to sell online and to other acquaintances.
When asked about the missing 22., Satele denied taking the firearm, saying the photo of him on Facebook was with a rifle belonging to another person.
In his written statement, Satele noted down all the items he stole, along with the identities of the people he sold them to.
One of the people who bought one of the stolen laptops was a female. When questioned by police, the female said she bought the laptop for $150. She said she didn’t know the laptop was stolen, as it was posted on American Samoa Dealz and Stealz.
Another person police questioned was a businessman, who owns the laundromat in Pago next to where Satele lives. The man told police Satele sold him several items.
According to him, Satele came to him and asked for money but he said no. Later on, Satele sold him an electric drill and a skill saw for $40. Then early last month, Satele offered to sell him a laptop for $100. The man said he counter offered for $80 and Satele agreed.
Another man who spoke to police said Satele stopped him on the Pago Pago road and offered to sell him a laptop and charger for $200 and a skill saw for $40. He told police Satele told him he really needed money to care for his father who was hospitalized.
Police were able to interviewed the male who posted the stolen items on American Samoa Dealz and Stealz. According to him, it was early last month that Satele brought him items that he wanted him to sell. He told police he didn’t know any of the items were stolen.
According to the man, he sold the property and split the proceeds 50-50 with Satele. Some of the stolen items were returned to police.
Meanwhile, the government is woking on filing a separate case against Satele, for unlawful possession of methamphetamine. The government alleges that illegal drugs were discovered on Satele when he was served a copy of the arrest warrant this week for the burglary case.