22 Dec 2010

US student fined for drugs crime in American Samoa

4:07 pm on 22 December 2010

A university student from the US has been fined 5,000 US dollars in American Samoa for transporting marijuana from the Manu'a Islands to the main Island of Tutuila.

Daniel Welch was initially charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and faced about 20 years in jail.

But under a plea agreement the 26-year old, who was doing research on Samoan culture for his PhD, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting to sell the illegal substance, a crime punishable by five years in jail.

He was sentenced to serve one year in jail, but the execution of the term is suspended as Welch has been placed on probation for five years.