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Judge rejects 15-year deal for ex-councilman in meth ring

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER

The Associated Press

HONOLULU–A U.S. judge has rejected a deal between prosecutors and a former elected Hawaii official who agreed to plead guilty and accept a 15-year prison term for leading a drug-trafficking organization.

Arthur Brun pleaded guilty last year to charges including drug trafficking conspiracy, distribution of methamphetamine and assault of a federal law enforcement officer. P

rosecutors said he led the drug ring while serving as a member of the county council on the island of Kauai.

Among the allegations laid out in court documents by prosecutors: Brun conspired with a gang leader, requested sexual favors as payment for drugs and assaulted a law enforcement officer.

Brun was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, but according to court records, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson rejected the deal Brun negotiated for a 15-year sentence.

Judges, who have the final say in sentencing, aren’t bound by plea agreements.

“The government wanted 15 years of a man’s life and the court felt that 15 years wasn’t enough,” said Brun’s attorney, Rustam Barbee. “The government wanted their pound of flesh and Judge Watson wanted two pounds.”

Barbee said his client will have to go to trial unless he can get a new deal from prosecutors.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in Hawaii declined to comment.