admin's picture


By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (May 3, 2002 – Samoa News)---The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has designated a liaison to American Samoa, a move that will address local concerns over the federal government's lack of "proper protocol" when dealing with local issues.

Sources told the Samoa News this week that late last month the FBI's Honolulu office "designated" FBI Special Agent William Denson from the Honolulu office to "handle matters in American Samoa."

This appointment will help address "protocol issues" after the territorial government complained when agents flocked to the territory to probe allegations lodged against the now closed Daewoosa Samoa garment factory.

Denson is familiar with American Samoa, having worked with the White Collar Crime/Public Corruption Task Force on investigations. He has also provided training to local law enforcement agencies on several occasions.

Denson will be working closely with the Office of Territorial and International Criminal Intelligence and Drug Enforcement (OTICIDE), headed by executive director Mike Sala.

Previously, most other federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Postal Inspection Services, and U.S. Customs, had designated representatives to work with OTICIDE.

Responding to Samoa News inquiries, Sala said, "I am glad of the move by FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Kimberly Mertz for her understanding and sensitivity to the relationships between the FBI and local law enforcement.

"I am very grateful for her positive response and support of initiatives that are mutually beneficial to both of us in order that the delivery of law enforcement services to the citizens of American Samoa meets the highest standards.

"This will also serve as a vehicle for change and foster a greater cooperative spirit between the FBI and local law enforcement agencies," Sala concluded.

Speaking from Honolulu last night, FBI media representative James Van Pelt confirmed to the Samoa News that Denson is the FBI's "liaison point of contact" for American Samoa.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

For additional reports from the Samoa News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa News.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment