March 2, 2020

USA: Hawaii Democrat Councilman Facing Multiple Charges Accused Of Leading A Methamphetamine-Trafficking Ring, Supplying Weapons And Conspiring With Gang Leader While Serving As Elected Official.

Fox News
written by Stephen Sorace
Sunday March 1, 2020

A Hawaii councilman pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple charges accusing him of leading a methamphetamine-trafficking ring, supplying weapons and conspiring with a gang leader while serving as an elected official, investigators said.

Arthur Brun, 48, operated the major drug-trafficking conspiracy involving 11 other defendants since at least June 2019, while serving as an elected member of the Kauai County Council and vice chairman of its Public Safety and Human Services Committee, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged in a news release.

Crystal meth, known locally as “batu” or “ice,” gained a stronghold across the islands long before becoming popular on the U.S. mainland, investigators said, adding that its street value in Hawaii can be more than double its cost in the continental U.S.

Brun obtained meth from a “shot caller,” or leader, of the United Samoan Organization gang and had the drugs mailed to Hawaii from California for $9,000, prosecutors alleged in court documents filed Friday.

He “sometimes requested sexual favors as repayment for drugs he supplied,” prosecutors said. They cited phone wiretaps and testimony by a defendant who signaled he wanted leniency at sentencing in a federal case.

Brun also allegedly assaulted a state law-enforcement officer during a traffic stop in October 2019 in an effort to hide the meth he was transporting, according to investigators.

As the officer’s arm was inside the vehicle trying to take the keys, Brun sped off, injuring the officer’s arm and shoulder, prosecutors said. He then allegedly led police on a high-speed chase, throwing a backpack containing one pound of meth out of the car.

Brun remained in custody and was scheduled to appear at a bail hearing Wednesday.

Meanwhile, local officials and some members of the public have called for Brun to step down from his elected position, KITV reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

KHON2 News published Feb 28, 2020: Feds: Kauai Councilman Arthur Brun a danger to the community. Federal prosecutors describe him as the leader of a drug trafficking ring with deep ties to a notorious gang leader.

Hawaii Public Radio, 89.3FM
written by Casey Harlow
Monday March 2, 2020

The arrest on Thursday of Kauaʻi councilmember Arthur Brun, aka "Ata," has surprised and disappointed residents across the small community. And charges that he led a major drug ring selling methamphetamine has shaken the image of the tranquil, laid-back island.

Brun pleaded not guilty last week to 10 felony charges related to drug dealing. Under the county charter, he can hold his council seat. But if he's convicted of a felony, he will be forced out.

"I think it's pretty crazy that we have a county council member that's arrested for running a large drug organization, and is not even being forced off the county council," said Carl Weislander, a Kauaʻi taxi driver. "It's definitely been the talk of the island."

"It was kind of a secret, and then it was like everybody knew," said Gerald Nash, a local bartender. "How did we get this far? Somebody just had to turn a blind eye."

Law enforcement authorities have laid out a damning case against him. They charge that among the sources Brun used for drugs was a gang known as the United Samoan Organization (USO) that operates in and out of state prisons.

For some residents, Brun being the head of a drug ring was not only a big shock, but a violation of trust. Joe Mauer, who works with at-risk youth, said the news really hit home for him.

"A lot of youth on the island have addicitons to methamphetamine," he said. "His actions are having a direct impact on the community of youth that we serve. It kind of makes me angry, knowing that he was contributing to a major, major problem that a lot of our youth on the island face."

"Kauaʻi has a big enough drug problem. And our council members are the people we elect to help curtail those things."

Brun's attorney Rustam Barbee declined to comment at length about the case, saying it's premature to discuss the details of the case.

U.S. attorney Kenji Price didn't want to speculate on the repercussions of the charges on the community, but said it is the hope of law enforcement agencies to prevent future criminal activity to happen by bringing justice to people.

A detention hearing is scheduled for Brun and 11 other individuals arrested in the sweep tomorrow afternoon in Honolulu.

👇 Here's another incident. 👇

KHON2 News published Feb 12, 2020: Kauai councilman, out on bail, involved in head on car crash  that was his fault that injured 6-year-old boy. Councilman Arthur Brun already faces two felony charges after getting arrested in October.

👇 Here's another incident. 👇

Hawaii Public Radio, 89.3FM
written by Associated Press
November 15, 2019

LIHUE, Hawaii — A county council member in Hawaii has been charged with striking a police officer with his car while fleeing a traffic stop, records said.

Arthur Brun, 47, was indicted Wednesday on felony charges of assault against a law enforcement officer and resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle, The Garden Island reported.

The Kauai County Council member was pulled over around 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and then struck a police lieutenant with his car when he fled the scene. Brun led police on a car chase lasting about 10 minutes, authorities said.

Brun was evaluated at Wilcox Medical Center and detained until the following day, when he was released on $10,000 bond, police said.

Brun declined to comment when reached by telephone.

The Waimea resident was first elected to the Kauai County Council in 2016 and re-elected two years later. He is chair of the Parks & Recreation/Transportation Committee and vice chair of the Public Safety & Human Service Committee.

“The council is currently awaiting further information in regards to the facts surrounding the arrest,” the Kauai County Clerk’s office said in a statement. “Any action to remove Councilmember Brun from his seat as a Councilmember will need to follow the process outlined in Kauai County Charter.”

Any councilor convicted of a felony “shall immediately forfeit the office,” according to the county charter.

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