A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former Kauai County Councilman Arthur Brun to 20 years in prison for running a methamphetamine ring supplied by kauai locator badgethe United Samoan Organization, a gang that operates in and out of the Hawaii prison system.

The former vice chairman of the council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee was one of a dozen people arrested in February 2020 on multiple felony charges.

Dozens of special agents from Hawaii, Alaska and the U.S. mainland were brought to Kauai to work on the case.

They tapped Brun’s cell phone and gathered video and audio evidence. In all, officers seized four kilos of crystal meth, known locally as “batu” or “ice,” and thousands of dollars in cash from those involved.

Sentencing day for Katherine Kealoha outside US District Court.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson handed down a 20-year prison sentence to former Kauai County Councilman Arthur Brun on Wednesday. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

In the months leading up to the federal charges, Brun was arrested in October 2019 for allegedly assaulting a law enforcement officer who was conducting a traffic stop while acting in cooperation with federal officers.

Arthur Brun Kauai County

Then, while out on bail in February 2020, Brun was involved in a traffic crash that injured a 6-year-old boy and a man after Brun crossed the center line and crashed head on into a truck.

Facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, Brun pleaded guilty last November as part of a plea deal that would have given him a 15-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole.

But U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson rejected the deal between the Justice Department and Brun’s defense attorney Rustam Barbee, saying 15 years in federal prison was insufficient.

Barbee has characterized his client as a meth addict and “a good person that made a bad mistake.”

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