Prison term for man spotted dealing drugs from a vehicle in Nuku‘alofa

A man who was caught dealing drugs from a vehicle in Nuku’alofa has been sentenced to one-year and nine-month imprisonment for drugs offences.

Kaniva Tonga

Tevita Talia’uli Fatongiatau, 34, appeared at the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court on February 3, 2021.

On 2 February 2020, Police received reliable information that Fatongiatau was selling illicit drugs from his vehicle at the bus station in town.

Police went to the bus station and found the accused inside his car. A second accused, Sesilia Uaisele, was at an ice-cream truck nearby. She again failed to appear for sentencing and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.

As the police approached the vehicle Fatongiatau saw them and he put something into his mouth and chewed it. Suspecting that he was trying to destroy illicit drugs, the police pulled him out of his car and pried his mouth open. He spat out plastic packets commonly used for packing illicit drugs.

Police informed Fatongiatau why they were there and proceeded to search the him and his vehicle. Inside the vehicle police found the following items:

  1. A partially opened packet of methamphetamine at the floor of the drivers’ side with crystal fragments inside the packet and some fragments had fallen out onto the rug;
  2. A test tube in the passenger side of the car containing fragments of methamphetamine;
  3. Cash totalling $2,290.
  4. The crystal fragments tested positive for methamphetamine.

On the count of possession of a Class A drug, the accused is convicted and sentenced to 1 year and 9 months imprisonment;

This sentence is to be served consecutive to the current sentence he is serving for CR 138/19;

Count 2 -The Accused is convicted and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment to be served concurrent to Count 1;

Count 3 – The Accused is convicted and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to be served concurrent to Count 1;

Justice Langi said: “As requested by the Crown, it is further ordered that the drugs seized from the accused, namely methamphetamine, be destroyed. The cash seized from the accused totalling $2290.00 is forfeited to the Crown”.

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