5 Jun 2006

US drug agency plans permanent posting in American Samoa

10:42 am on 5 June 2006

The US Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, is looking at placing a permanent agent in American Samoa, which some government officials say could help stem the rising drug problem in the territory.

Office of Territorial and International Criminal Intelligence and Drug Enforcement's executive director, Mike Sala, says two DEA agents visited Pago Pago in March.

The agents conducted a drug advance assessment in the territory with the possibility of assigning a permanent resident special agent in American Samoa.

American Samoa falls under the jurisdiction of DEA's Honolulu office, which has assisted the territory for years about drug issues and other matters.

One lawmaker says having a DEA office to support local law enforcement is important to American Samoa with the escalating drug problem affecting the community, including schools.