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Bail set at $500K for men found with meth

Anthony Birano, Jasen Apo accused of distributing drugs

WAILUKU — Bail was set at $500,000 each for two Wailuku men who were arrested last week when police seized about 2 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.

Anthony Birano, 58, and Jasen Apo, 56, were each charged with two counts of first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. Apo also was charged with third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and another count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

A police investigation showed that the two men were involved in distributing the drugs, with Birano being the supplier and Apo being the “middle man” delivering the drugs to someone else, Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones said during initial appearances Monday for both defendants in Wailuku District Court.

Birano and Apo were arrested Wednesday, police records show.

Jones asked that bail remain at $500,000 for Birano, who had been released on parole from a 20-year prison term for unlawful methamphetamine trafficking when he was arrested last week.

A no-bail warrant to revoke his parole was served on Birano, Jones said.

She asked for bail to remain at the $250,000 set by police for Apo.

He has 29 convictions, including 12 for felony offenses including first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, four counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, three counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, prohibited possession of ammunition and first-degree theft, Jones said.

In two pending cases, Apo is charged with second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, she said.

“He is, by his criminality and conduct, a danger to the community,” Jones said.

Judge Blaine Kobayashi questioned why bail for Apo had been set at half the amount for Birano when Apo appeared to have an “even more extensive criminal history.”

Jones said the police may have set the higher amount for Birano because he was on parole. She agreed that Apo’s bail should be higher.

In increasing bail for Apo to $500,000, Kobayashi said “this defendant continues to poison our community with illegal drugs and is a danger to our community.”

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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