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Two men plead guilty to receiving stolen property

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The two men accused of receiving stolen property have pled not guilty.

Fuavai Sua, 23, and Lualima Taliu, 24, appeared before Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea for a change of plea hearing yesterday morning.

Sua was initially charged with one count of receiving stolen property, a class C felony. But under a plea agreement with the government, he pled guilty to the amended charge of conspiracy to receive stolen property from another person, a class D felony.

With his guilty plea, Sua admits that on July 8, 2017 he agreed to help Taliu sell a DVD player, DVDs, and a pair of black combat boots to his brother-in-law from Faleniu, knowing that the items were stolen from the home of Iuniasolua Savusa of Nu’uuli.

Sua further admits that the items he helped Taliu sell exceeded $100 in value.

Co-defendant Taliu was initially charged with 2nd degree burglary, stealing, receiving stolen property, and trespassing.

Under a plea bargain with the government, Taliu pled guilty to receiving stolen property. The remaining charges were dismissed. With his guilty plea, Taliu admits that on July 8, 2018 he took a DVD player, DVDs, and a pair of black combat boots to a person in Faleniu, knowing that the items were stolen from Savusa's Nuuuli home.

Taliu admits the value of the items he stole was over $100.

Acting Public Defender Michael White is representing Sua and Taliu while Assistant Attorney General, Woodrow Pengelly appeared on behalf of the government.

Both sides recommended to the court to sentence the defendants to 5 years probation, under the condition that they serve a period of detention at the Territorial Correctional Facility.

The court accepted both plea agreements and the defendants have been remanded back to custody to await sentencing on Oct. 5, 2018.