Samoa taxi driver pleads guilty to marijuana charge
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samuel Utaga, 42, a taxi driver from Samoa, pled out last week on a drug charge.
He was initially charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, a felony punishable by 5-10 years in jail, and a fine between $5,000-$20,000, or both. But under a plea agreement with the government, Utaga pled guilty to the amended count of unlawful possession of marijuana. He admits that on Jan. 22, 2020 he had in his taxi, 6 hand rolled marijuana cigarettes.
According to terms of the plea agreement, Utaga’s vehicle was involved in an accident in Nu’uuli on Jan. 22nd. When cops arrived, they couldn’t locate the driver of the taxi. Utaga was located a few feet away, hiding behind a house in an effort to avoid a police interview. When asked to go to the DPS Tafuna substation for questioning, Utaga refused.
During the conversation, police noticed Utaga trying to hide a black pouch from them. When asked what was inside, Utaga responded, “It’s some stuff from “Willie”.
Cops found 6 hand rolled cigarettes, which tested positive for marijuana. According to Utaga, the joints were bought from a friend in Tafuna identified as “Willie”.
Utaga, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $5,000 surety bond, will be sentenced next month.