Marshals issue
most-wanted list

The notice includes fugitives
sought for drug violations
and tax prep fraud

By Rod Antone

When federal agents raided the home of Reiner L.K. Kraan in Kaneohe, they found 37 rifles, an assortment of handguns, an undisclosed amount of C-4 plastic explosives along with electrical fuses, blasting caps, body armor, and armor-piercing and incendiary bullets.

That was four years ago.

Today, Kraan still remains one of the state's most wanted fugitives, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Marshals Service released an updated version of their most-wanted list last week, passing it out the list to law enforcement organizations, post offices and airport personnel.

The Marshals Service updates its list once a year.

This year's list includes a Maui tax preparer, a convicted cable-box salesman and Kraan, who in 1998 was indicted by federal prosecutors for multiple drug and weapons offenses.

U.S. Marshals said Kraan was last seen escaping from a van after leading U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents on a high-speed chase. U.S. Marshals said Kraan is believed to have fled to California for a while, but they and other local law enforcement officials said he may have returned to Hawaii.

Other cases, such as that of Wailuku tax preparer Wenjun Xu, are more recent.

In June 2000 the U.S. attorney's office charged Xu with 15 counts of helping Maui taxpayers file tax returns that sought refunds based on false "stock losses." Federal prosecutors said the stock in question was actually owned by Xu.

Federal investigators said Xu's clientele consisted mostly of immigrants and others who spoke little or no English.

U.S. Marshals also said Xu continued to collect money from his clients through a collection agency even after he was charged and became a fugitive. Xu also was charged with one count of bringing in illegal aliens by filing false visa applications.

While both Xu and Kraan have yet to go to trial, others on the most-wanted list have been convicted and are now wanted for allegedly violating the terms of their release. One of them, Michael Van Hohenstein, 45, was sentenced in August 2000 to 48 months in federal prison for 63 counts of conspiracy to sell illegal cable boxes, money laundering and tax evasion.

Van Hohenstein had advertised the illegal cable descramblers in local and national publications including Pennysaver and Popular Mechanics, selling the devices at $250 to $350 apiece.

As a part of his sentencing, Van Hohenstein also forfeited more than $1 million seized from a safe in his home and thousands of illegal cable boxes and was ordered to pay $10,000 in damages to Oceanic Cablevision.

Officials from the Marshals Service said Van Hohenstein had served most of his sentence and was under supervised release when he disappeared in February 2001.

Other fugitives include convicted bank robbers Samuel K. Paiana and Lauvasa Tufono. Fuamete Fuiava, Adrian Barahona and Edwin Barrantes-Artavia are all wanted on narcotics violations.

Some investigators warn, however, that while the fugitive information is current, some of the pictures may be out of date.

"We have reason to believe that several of the wanted fugitives have changed their appearance drastically to avoid arrest," said Honolulu police Detective Letha DeCaires.

Several of the fugitives featured in the U.S. Marshals list also have been featured in DeCaires' CrimeStoppers fugitive list.

The U.S. Marshals Service considers all these fugitives armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the U.S. Marshals at 541-3000. Fugitive photos, information and updates can be found at

E-mail to City Desk


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