17 Oct 2007

First cocaine defendant in Samoa convicted and sentenced to jail

4:38 pm on 17 October 2007

The first court case in Samoa involving the possession of the illegal drug cocaine has been completed with the defendant being sentenced to six years and four months in jail.

Joe Lafaele Faulkner, or Joe Palagi, has been in police custody since February last year after a police raid on his house where the illegal drugs and unlawful firearms were found.

The 19 months he spent in custody at the main Tafa'igata prison is to be deducted from his imprisonment term.

Joe Lafaele who pleaded guilty to possession of 555 grams of cocaine with a total value of around 575,000 US dollars.

The presiding judge, Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu, says the accused has shown no remorse for his crime.

The judge says it is clear from the police evidence that the accused was processing the illegal drug at his house with the intention to sell.