12 Jan 2018

Search for American Samoan officer hits west coast

1:33 pm on 12 January 2018

American Samoa's Department of Public Safety has received reports of a former police officer wanted in connection with drug crimes being seen on the US west coast.

The Samoa Police crest on a patrol bike in downtown Apia.

Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins

Steve Tuatoo had been arrested following drug raids in November however he had not been charged by the time the limit for holding suspects without charges expired.

Two others who had been arrested, Cody Wood and Lemalie Taisia, were charged within the time limit and their cases are making their way through the court system.

Commissioner of Public Safety Lei Sonny Thompson said that Tuatoo had been seen in Seattle, Washington.

Lei said federal authorities may need to be brought in to get Tuatoo back to the territory.