Felon Gets 13 Years for Drugs, Firearms

November 5, 2019, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated November 4, 6:44 PM
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Crystal methamphetamine. Big Island Now stock photo.

Brian Ancho will spend the next 13 years of his life in prison for possession of 33 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, among several other charges.

Ancho, 41, was sentenced Monday in federal court by Senior United States District Judge Susan Oki Mollway after being found guilty on the meth charges, as well as being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and carrying firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) in Honolulu.

Court documents and information presented during the case indicated that on March 4, 2019, Ancho crashed his vehicle minutes after fleeing a traffic stop. Honolulu Police Department (HPD) officers responded to Moanalua Community Park, but Ancho, on supervised release from a prior felony gun conviction, had abandoned his vehicle, the USAO said.

HPD officers located Ancho concealing himself in the Moanalua Stream and arrested him. Thereafter, two loaded firearms were found near him, along with a backpack filled with small plastic baggies, two scales and methamphetamine, the release continued. An additional firearm, methamphetamine and drug ledgers written by the defendant were subsequently recovered from Ancho’s crashed vehicle.

At sentencing, Senior US District Judge Mollway highlighted the need to protect the public given Ancho’s extensive criminal history and the nature and circumstances of the offense.


“This prosecution results from the exemplary work of federal agents and local law enforcement officers working together to keep the community safe by holding a convicted felon accountable for his continued refusal to comply with the law,” stated US Attorney for the District of Hawai‘i Kenji M. Price.


“The sentence handed down to Mr. Ancho is a reflection of his blatant disregard for the rule of law,” added ATF Seattle Special Agent in Charge Darek Pleasants. “Sentences such as this one removes a dangerous offender from our streets and will hopefully serve as a deterrent to others.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone, the USAO release said.

The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all US Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement as well as the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime, the release continued.


The case was investigated by HPD, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Sara D. Ayabe and Chris A. Thomas.

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