Suspect in drug raid pleads guilty to cultivating more than 10,000 marijuana plants


Some of the marijuana branches police obtained from the raid at Satapuala village

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2018: One of the three suspects in last month’s police drug raid at Satapuala village, Taoa Faraimo Filo has pleaded guilty to cultivating and possessing more than 10,000 marijuana plants.

Chief Justice Patu Tiavaasue Falefatu Sapolu reaffirmed the number after the Court Registrar read out the number in the charge which is 9,454 seeds and 348 young plants.

Taoa is also charged with one count of possessing an unlicensed gun and four dangerous weapons (namely guns).

Taoa is remanded in custody until he appears before the Drug and Alcohol Court Clinician later today.

The other two suspects Tanielu Faraimo Filo and Filipaina Faraimo Filo denied the charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana and their case will be heard 28th  and 29th  June 2018.

Tanielu and Filipaina have been released on conditions that all their travel documents are surrendered to the Registrar, that they reside at Satapuala and that they sign in at the Faleolo Police Outpost every Tuesday and Friday before 12.00 pm until their matter is heard.

The three suspects were arrested during the Police raid on 11th January 2018 at Satapuala.

The Chief Justice also emphasized to Prosecution the importance of providing a summary of facts to the Court to guide the Courts decision on the matter.

“I am not at liberty of a summary of facts, but there comes a time and point when this Court will be asking for a summary of facts during sentencing, so I would be in a better position to determine sentence,” said His Honour.

The summary of facts which is provided by the police for the Prosecution gives the Court an understanding of the details of the offences and also details about the accused.