No bail for Hawaii councilman accused of leading meth ring

HONOLULU — A Hawaii councilman accused of leading a methamphetamine ring must be held without bail, a U.S. judge ruled Wednesday.

Arthur Brun led a major drug-trafficking conspiracy involving 11 other defendants since at least June 2019, while serving as an elected member of the Kauai County Council, prosecutors said after his arrest last week.

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Brun, vice chair of the council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee, has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors argued in court documents that Brun must be denied bail because in allegedly leading the meth ring, he supplied guns, conspired with a gang leader, requested sexual favors for drugs and assaulted a law enforcement officer.

Brun obtained meth from a leader of the United Samoan Organization gang and had the drugs mailed to Hawaii from California, prosecutors said.

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Another co-defendant is a convicted felon who Brun used for protection, prosecutors said.

Crystal meth is the drug of choice in Hawaii, where it’s known locally as “batu” or “ice.” Mailing or shipping drugs to Hawaii became more common with increased airport security after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when it got more difficult to smuggle drugs through air travel.

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