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PPD leads to alleged discovery of weed in Pavaiai

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was arrested for public peace disturbance has been remanded to custody at the LBJ Hospital Behavioral Health Unit and a status hearing is set for May 9th.

Kevin Philip Pierce made his initial appearance in District Court last Thursday, where his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson, made a motion to have Pierce evaluated, based on his "observations" of his client's behavior that morning.

During court proceedings, Pierce was shackled and had to wait in the holding cell right outside the courtroom until his case was called. While other cases were being heard, the court marshall had to step out of the courtroom several times to calm Pierce, who was acting unruly and making unreasonable noises from inside the holding cell.

According to the government's case, it was during the late hours of April 17th that police were called for assistance about a disturbance in Pava'ia'i involving five males.

The men were alleged to have been drinking at a Pava'ia'i store/laundromat, making loud noises and cracking beer bottles near the business establishment.

When police arrived, they observed one male - later identified as Kapeli Felise - trying to light up a "cigarette-like roll of paper" containing what appeared to be a "green leafy substance."

Police were able to apprehend four of the five males, who were later transported to the DPS Tafuna Sub Station for questioning. Besides Felise, the other three males were identified as Tanielu Iaulualo, Kapeli Lasalo, and Philip Pierce.

When a property inventory was carried out, police discovered that Lasalo and Iaulualo had "what seemed to be a cigarette-like roll containing a green leafy substance."

This past Monday, Iaulualo, Felise, and Kapeli all made their initial appearances in District Court. Bail for Lasalo is maintained at $5,000 while Iaulualo and Felise are being held without bail, due to their immigration status.

Preliminary examination for the trio is set for May 2nd.