Taxi driver and his passenger both plead in drug case
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A taxi driver and a passenger who were arrested and charged with violating local drug laws after police executed a search warrant on a taxi cab in Ottoville last year have entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson represents both Tuliga Vaita’i, 24, and Fatu Faumui, 37, while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kristine Soule.
Vaita’i, a taxi driver, was initially charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, he pled guilty to a lesser, amended charge.
In court last week, Vaita’i admitted that on Feb. 21, 2020 he unlawfully possessed 4 stamp-sized baggies containing meth. The intent to distribute charge was dismissed.
Faumui was initially charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine. But a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, allowed Faumui to plead guilty to a lesser, amended charge, a class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail, and a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
With his guilty plea, Faumui admits that on Feb. 21, 2020 he had in his possession two glass pipes containing meth. He said the two glass pipes belonged to him and he bought them for $100 from his friend Vaita’i, before they were pulled over by police.
Vaita’i and Faumui have both been in custody since they were arrested, unable to post $5,000 cash bonds. They will be sentenced Mar. 12th.