LIHU‘E — After a 20-year prison sentence was imposed on former Kaua‘i County Councilmember turned meth dealer Arthur Brun this May, the court has begun mopping up the cases of his 11 co-conspirators.
Federal Judge Derrick K. Watson handed down a two-year sentence to Brun associate Efren Yanos Thursday, who admitted to possessing with intent to sell five grams or more of meth for the former councilmember. Yanos was also given an additional three years of supervised release and assessed a fine of $5,000.
Watson recommended that Yanos be sent to a facility on the West Coast, that he be placed in a drug-treatment program and that he receive vocational and educational training.
Yanos, currently out on bail, will be required to surrender on Aug. 8.
Court documents say Yanos was a veteran who served in the Air National Guard and had been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He returned to Kaua‘i around 2010, where, to relieve severe back pain, he began to use meth. By Oct. 2019, he was connected with Brun, who served as his supplier. Yanos would buy meth from Brun both for his personal use and to distribute to others.
From Oct. to Nov. 2019, wiretaps conducted on Brun’s cell phone by the Kaua‘i Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives picked up six separate conversations in which Yanos and Brun arranged meth purchases.
Within the span of about a month, Yanos purchased a total of seven ounces of meth from Brun for several thousand dollars.
Law enforcement stopped Yanos’s car on Nov. 19 following a pickup from Brun, recovering approximately one ounce of meth, which became the basis for his charge.
This makes him one of the more-minor players taken down in the probe — bigger fish like United Samoan Organization-connected Maluelue Umu, have admitted to supplying pounds of meth to the councilmember. Umu is set to be sentenced Aug. 3.
Brun, Yanos and the other associates were indicted in early 2020 on charges ranging from drug distribution to assault of a federal officer, weapons violations and evidence and witness tampering. Brun was the first to be sentenced in the case, getting 20 years without the possibility of parole and an additional five years of supervised release, after Watson denied a 15-year plea deal Brun reached with prosecutors.
Watson pointed to Brun’s assault of a Kaua‘i Police Department officer as a factor in the heavy sentence, and said that the assault charge “(elevated) the seriousness of Brun’s drug-trafficking conduct in this case.”
All other co-conspirators have reached plea deals with prosecutors and await sentencing.
Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 647-0329 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island