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Eight charged in Faga'alu drug raid

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

The owner of Tilei ‘s Landscaping, Kika Benjamin Tilei labelled as the ringleader of a drug operation out of Faga'alu has been criminally charged along with his sister and some of his staff who were allegedly paid with methamphetamine or ice at times.


Tilei is charged together with his girlfriend, Kueni Falepau, his sister Adelle Fenumiai, his sister’s boyfriend Samuelu Luatua, and four of his worker Tavita Tali, Kamipali Taufalele, Aiga Tuupo, and Harris Fitiao.


All eight defendants were arrested following a Police raid in Faga'alu last week and made their initial appearance in the District Court on Friday.


Tilei is facing charges of possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of crystal methamphetamine and possession of meth with intent to distribute.


His bail is set at $40,000.


Luatua, Falepau and Fenumiai are facing charges of possession of ice and marijuana and possession of the same with intent to distribute while Tali, Taufalele, Tuupo and Harris are charged with unlawful possession of crystal methamphetamine.


Vice and Narcotics along with Criminal Investigation Division Officers executed a search warrant of Tilei's business vehicle and his residence.


Armed Officers encountered a blue pickup truck subject to a search warrant and which was driven by Tilei was pulled over. Tilei was patted down by Police but nothing was found on him. Occupants of the vehicle Falepau and Tuupo were also searched.


Police found a blue light and a green cut-up straw containing a crystalline substance in the possession of Tu'upo.


During a search of the vehicle, officers uncovered 14 hand-rolled cigarettes containing a green leafy substance inside a small clear baggie. Tilei told Police the marijuana joints belonged to him.


Court filings say Police proceeded to Tilei's residence and his sister Fenumiai was patted down and discovered a glass pipe containing a usable amount of crystalline substance inside her pocket along with a stamp size baggie containing a crystalline substance.


A search of Tilei's bedroom found 6 medium sizes baggier with white crystalline substance; 1 medium size baggie with marijuana seeds, 14 glass tubes, 1 clear glass pipe; 2 small size baggies with crystalline substance residue; 1 medium size baggie with green leafy substance appearing as buds, 4 scissors with burnt tip, rolling papers.


Furthermore, police found five smartphones, 1 small size scale, 3 blow torches, and 1 bag of assorted emptied straws. More drugs were found in a bag in Tilei's bedroom.


The sister's room was also searched and Police found a small-size baggie of ice along with 5 clear glass tubes, 1 clear glass pipe, 1 small-size baggie containing a crystalline substance and 2 blow torches.


The search reached the garage and saw Taufalele was allegedly seen tossing a clear glass pipe which he denied throwing anything away however detectives located the clear glass pipe containing a usable amount of ice underneath a ping pong.


Tuupo's room was also searched and detectives discovered a marijuana plant about 2 feet tall inside a container, along with 2 medium-sized baggies and 1 box of used empty cut-up straws.


Detectives then proceeded to the residence of Tali in the same vicinity and on their way met up with Tali who was patted down and in his possession was found a clear glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance.


At Tali's residence, Detectives found Fitiao inside and discovered a clear glass pipe containing white crystalline.

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