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Stealing and drug defendants appear in High Court

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Epifano Sunia has been charged with stealing over allegations that he removed an iPad Mini off a display case in the Bluesky store in Nuuuli.

According to the government he had just been released from the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TFC) on Nov 09, 2022 when he allegedly stole the iPad in question.

The defendant was charged this month.

Sunia is held on bail of $3,000 and was arraigned in the High Court last Friday. The investigating officer in this case is Tavake Fomai.

According to the government’s case, on Nov 09, 2022 a complaint was filed with the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) regarding an iPad Mini that was stolen off a display case in the Bluesky store located in the village of Nu’uuli.

Video footage of an unknown individual was provided to the police. The Bluesky employee told police, on Nov 09, 2022 upon checking the displayed items it was uncovered that an iPad mini 6th generation 256 GB was missing.

Camera footage revealed the incident and police were able to identify the defendant who lives near the golf course.

Police picked up Sunia who told police after making bail that he had gone straight home.

Police confirmed that Sunia was confined at TCF on Nov 06, 2022, on an unrelated matter and was released on Nov 09, 2022 at around 12 noon.

According to police, video footage released by Bluesky shows an individual who fits the description of Sunia grabbing the iPad from the display in the Bluesky store and walking outside without anyone noticing.


Bail of $3,000 has been set for Shaun Laolagi in relation to a charge of unlawful possession of marijuana.

He was arraigned in the High Court last Friday. The investigating officer in this case is Detective Lori Leota, of the Criminal Investigation Division. 

According to the government’s case, on Jan 07, 2023 a Vice and Narcotics unit was dispatched to a call at TPS regarding controlled substances that were discovered in the possession of Laolagi after he was confirmed to be under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel.

The criminal complaint states that the defendant was pulled over for possible DUI.

After performing the DUI test, it was confirmed that the driver was under the influence of alcoholic beverages. The driver was then transported to the police station for further investigation.

 “Upon searching the defendant, police discovered a hand rolled joint hidden inside a cigarette pack on the right side pocket of his pants.”

The inventory of the vehicle was conducted in the presence of Laolagi where police discovered green leafy plant material stored inside a medicine bottle. 

The items seized by police were documented and later turned over to the Police Department Evidence Custodian Room. The hand rolled joint and green leafy plant material tested positive for THC, an active compound in marijuana.