Kauai Councilman Arthur Brun must remain in custody. His attorney told the judge Brun is not a flight risk. But that didn’t sway the judge.

Brun didn’t say anything at the hearing. He still has a cast on his right arm. You might remember he was in a car crash last month after he crossed the center line and hit another car, injuring another man and his six-year-old son.

Brun faces drug and firearms charges and is described by prosecutors as the leader of a crime ring that distributed large quantities of methamphetamine. Investigators say he also has deep ties with the Samoan prison gang, USO.

Prosecutors filed motions to keep Brun in custody while he waits for his trial, saying he is a danger to the community and a flight risk. His attorney disagrees.

“He’s a lifelong resident of Kauai, he has never traveled outside of the country, he has no passport. So I don’t believe he’s a flight risk,” said attorney Rustam Barbee.

The indictment against Brun and 11 other defendants arrested during a sting operation also brings to light problems with drug trafficking inside Hawaii’s prisons and jails.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety sent a statement saying,
“Stopping contraband from entering any correctional facility is an ongoing effort that we prioritize… our staff has increased their commitment to fighting this battle, by rooting out the pathways, and curbing contraband introduction in our facilities.”

Brun will remain in custody at the Federal Detention Center, and continues to earn his salary as a councilman of more than $5,200 a month. County officials say the only way to prevent that is if gets convicted of a felony or if Brun steps down.

“Has he talked at all about stepping down from his council seat?” KHON2 asked.
“No, we haven’t had an opportunity to really talk,” said Barbee.

Trial is scheduled for April 27.