Woman with a pending drug case is arrested again on similar charges
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea has found probable cause to bind over to High Court, the government’s case against Siaopo Feagai, who is expected to enter a ‘not guilty’ plea this morning during arraignment.
Feagai, who has a pending case in High Court for a similar offense from 2 years ago, was a passenger of a vehicle that was pulled over in Vaitogi earlier this month. She is charged with one count unlawful possession of methamphetamine; and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana — both felonies — punishable by imprisonment of 5-10 years, a fine of $5,000-$20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $15,000.
During Feagai’s PX this week, the government called one witness, DPS Det. Motu Tafaovale, whose testimony was apparently sufficient to move the case forward. According to the witness, on Jan. 2, 2020 two officers patrolling in the Vaitogi area pulled over a vehicle for speeding. There were two people in the car: a male driver and a female passenger, later identified as Feagai.
(According to the government, Feagai is the ex-girlfriend of a suspect in a Kokoland sex case from a few months ago. Investigators are still looking for him).
When cops approached the vehicle, they saw Feagai trying to hide something under her seat. When asked for his driver’s license, the driver told police it had expired a few years back. The vehicle was impounded and the pair taken in for questioning.
According to Tafaovale, both Feagai and the driver were consuming alcohol in the vehicle. The driver was released after questioning; he was issued several traffic citations, including operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Feagai on the other hand, was booked at the TCF after drugs were found on her.
Tafaovale testified that Feagai told him she had drugs in her bag and also in the vehicle. Feagai handed the bag over and in it, Tafaovale found 3 baggies and 2 glass pipes, both containing a white crystalline substance.
Feagai went with police to the vehicle where, under the passenger’s seat, they found a baggie containing 3 hand rolled cigarette joints. The items seized that day all yielded positive results for meth and marijuana. Feagai told police she got the drugs from a male friend who is a drug dealer at Le Filifili. She refused to identify the seller, only saying, “it’s confidential.”
According to Feagai, she started using drugs a few months ago after her boyfriend gave her a glass pipe to smoke during a wedding party at one of their best friend’s homes in Vaitogi. It was at the wedding party where she met her supplier, who provides her with meth, including the drugs found on her.
Under cross examination, Tafaovale was asked if he performed the test on the white crystalline substance allegedly found in the bag, Tafaovale answered, “No, it was another police detective.” Defense attorney Stuart argued that the government failed to present sufficient evidence, arguing that their only witness was not the one who performed the test on the white crystalline substance.
Judge Patea said the hearing is to determine if there is sufficient evidence and if there is probable cause to try the defendant in court. He then ruled that the court is satisfied with the evidence presented.
Feagai was pulled over for a loud muffler in Mesepa on Dec. 10, 2017. She was the driver while her ex-boyfriend, who is now wanted in a sex case, was the passenger.
Cops allegedly found drugs and paraphernalia in her vehicle, in addition to live ammunition and a cell phone with messages that confirmed her involvement in the drug trade.
During a vehicle inventory, cops found 2 small baggies and a glass pipe containing a white substance that later tested positive for meth in a black pouch under the driver’s seat, in addition to $940 cash.
Feagai was released on a $10,000 surety bond pending trial which is set for August 2020. One of the several conditions of her release on bond is that she remain law abiding. The government says it will file a motion to revoke Feagai’s release on bond, citing that the new case indicates that Feagai violated conditions of release on bond.