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Samoan man facing federal drug charges in Alaska

Federal Courthouse Anchorage, Alaska

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A Samoan man living in Anchorage, Alaska has been indicted on federal charges of possessing heroin and methamphetamine for distribution and illegally possessing firearms as a convicted felon.

Forty-two year old Kirt Sainila Filoiali’i appeared last Friday before US District Court Judge Debroah M. Smith with the federal court in Anchorage for his arraignment on the indictment. And he entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

According to court records, the federal charges against Filoiali’i stem from a domestic violence investigation by the Anchorage Police Department (APD). On April 15, Filoialii is alleged to have assaulted a female victim with a firearm and metal bar leaving her unconscious and injured. Also, Filoialii is alleged to have kidnapped the victim as part of the assault.

When located by APD, Filoialii had 300 grams of packaged heroin and 11 grams of methamphetamine, a loaded Glock pistol, more than $16,000 in cash and a scale. APD located two more firearms and additional ammunition in his residence.

The federal indictment also shows the defendant’s four prior convictions in 2012 before the Anchorage Supreme Court, on drug and weapon charges. He also had a burglary conviction in 2001, according to court documents. 

During the arraignment hearing, the court set dates for pre trial conference and trial for later this year, but that was vacated yesterday after the defendant filed a motion for his “right to a speedy trial” under federal law.  The court will set new pre-trial and trial dates soon.

If convicted of all charges, he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to federal prosecutors. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.