Young men drinking and fighting lands one in jail on drug charges
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested for disturbing the public peace (PPD) in front of his uncle’s home in the Tafuna area is now charged with violating local drug laws.
Sapati Afoa made his initial appearance in District Court last month.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), an unclassified felony, punishable by imprisonment from 5-10 year, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $5,000.
According to the court affidavit, it was around 10:35p.m on Oct. 13, 2021 when the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a phone call from a man seeking police assistance regarding four young men drinking and fighting in front of a his home in Tafuna.
The caller further stated that the young men were allegedly yelling profanities and throwing beer bottles on the sidewalk. The caller also identified to police that one of the young men in the group was his nephew, Sapati Afoa, the defendant in this case.
Several police officers responded and observed a young man sitting in front of an abandoned house opposite to the house of the man who reported the matter. The young man appeared to be hurt, with blood streaming down from his face (right eye). He was later identified by bystanders from around the area as “TRUE”, also known as Sapati Afoa.
The defendant was treated by EMS personnel at the TPS, before he was transported to the LBJ Hospital for further treatment.
Before the defendant was transported to the LBJ, police conducted a body search. The defendant emptied out his pants pocket and a stamp size baggie with white crystalline substance was discovered. The white crystalline substance was tested and confirmed positive for meth.
Police also found another stamp sized baggie inside the left rear pocket of Afoa’s pants, containing two hand rolled cigarettes containing a green leafy substance. The green leafy substance was tested and confirmed positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
The defendant was then transported to the hospital for treatment due to his head injury and discharged early morning two days later.
Two days after he was discharged from the LBJ Hospital, the defendant was arrested from his home in Kokoland. Investigators questioned him at TPS regarding the illegal drugs they had found on him on the night in question when he was assaulted by some unknown men.
After being Mirandized, the defendant stated that he understood and wished to make a statement.
According to the defendant’s statement, he was at his uncle’s house for his uncle’s daughter’s birthday on the night of the incident. While he was inside the party, one of his friends called his cell phone and asked him if he could come outside to discuss something with his other friends. The defendant agreed and came out of his uncle’s house and met up with his three friends waiting for him on the road, about 100 yards away from his uncle’s house.
While they were talking, the defendant told investigators that he was shocked when he was ambushed from behind by one of his friends, who punched him in the back of his head causing him to fall on the ground. He tried to stand up but all of his three friends started kicking and punching him in his facial area causing him to be unconscious for a moment.
He told police that he did not smoke any drugs that night and he has no idea how the baggies containing meth and marijuana got inside his pockets. He thought that they (the drugs) were something his friends planned in order to hurt him.
According to the defendant’s statement to investigators, he was shocked when the police said they found drugs in his pants.