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Stopped for speeding, he was busted for drugs

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The driver of a white car wherein police allegedly found a black bag containing a white crystalline substance, marijuana joints, and drug paraphernalia has been arrested and charged.

Faamanu Sefo, a.k.a “Fat”, 35, of Taputimu, made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea this week.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana - both felonies, carrying a jail term of 5-10 years, a fine of $5,000-$20,000 or both for each count.

Bail is set at $10,000


Sefo and another man, whose identity Samoa News is withholding until he is formally charged, were in the white car that was pulled over by police in Mesepa on Mar. 23, 2020 for speeding. Sefo was the driver.

When asked for identification, Sefo presented a driver’s license and an immigration ID — both of which expired 2 years ago.

The cop who was speaking to Sefo said he noticed Sefo using his right foot to push something under his seat and when Sefo moved his foot, he saw a small baggie containing a white crystalline substance.

Officers instructed Sefo and the passenger to exit the vehicle and they were taken in for questioning while the vehicle was impounded.

At the police station, the two cops who escorted Sefo said one stamp-sized baggie containing a white crystalline substance fell out when Sefo exited the police unit. One officer asked Sefo about the baggie and he responded, “I don’t know anything. That’s not mine.”

When police checked where Sefo was seated, they found one stamp-sized baggie containing a white crystalline substance. During a body search, officers found two glass pipes containing a white crystalline substance.

An inventory of the white vehicle found a small red bag in the back seat, containing two glass pipes with a white crystalline substance, and one stamp-sized baggie containing two hand rolled marijuana joints.

The white crystalline substance tested positive for meth while the green leafy substance tested positive for marijuana.

In his statement to police, Sefo said he bought meth and marijuana from a man in Iliili. He said it was for the men working at his plantation. Sefo allegedly told police he bought the drugs for personal use only, and not for resale.

When questioned by police, the passenger explained that he and Sefo are cousins, and they were on their way to their other cousin’s home in the Tafuna area to play pool. The passenger said he didn’t know Sefo had drugs in the vehicle, but he heard from their other cousins that Sefo has a drug problem but he had never actually seen him smoke any drugs or have it on him.

According to the passenger, Sefo never told him there were drugs in the vehicle, and he was surprised when police found them. The passenger was released after questioning.