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APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 25) – Aukusotino Fanene and Cindy Peters, who were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance last week, have had their bail set at NZ$50,000 [US$37,240] each.

They appeared in the District Court on Friday morning before Judge Elvis Patea who scheduled their probable cause hearing for Thursday.

A third defendant who was arrested with the pair during the drug bust behind the Territorial Administration On Aging Office (TAOA) has been released from custody.

Assistant Attorney General Aaron Masser said the government has opted not to prosecute the third defendant.

Assistant Public Defender Ruth Risch is representing the defendants.

According to the sworn affidavit of Department of Public Safety Detective Norman Heather, he received a telephone call from a confidential informant the morning of September 19.

The informant reported that a Kia Sportage belonging to Peters was parked at a small grassy area behind the TAOA office.

He also reported that he had seen Peters in this car with co defendant Fanene parked in this area on several occasions and had also witnessed cars approach the defendants and then leave.

Detective Heather reported this activity as ‘suspicious’ and said that after the phone call, Sergeant Lieutenant Paulo Leuma, Detective Takeuita Lemisio and himself immediately proceeded to the location and observed the activities.

According to Detective Heather, Fanene admitted that he had ‘ice’ in his right hand side jeans pocket.

"I asked him if this was the stuff he was selling," Tino grinned, and answered, "Yes. Brother, please save me," said Detective Heather.

Adding, "I immediately advised him of his rights and continued to search him

as I was searching, he repeatedly requested that I save him. I also found $50,000 in the right front pocket of his shorts and $176.00 in his rear pocket."

Detective Heather said that the other defendant Peters admitted that she had marijuana in her possession.

He said they seized the marijuana, two used glass pipes commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, eight stamp size clear plastic bags commonly used to package methamphetamine for sale and other miscellaneous items.

Detective Heather said that he subjected the crystalline substances from each of the four bags of suspected methamphetamine to testing with methamphetamine reagent.

"All four tests came back positive for methamphetamine,"

He said that the alleged marijuana also tested positive after testing.

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