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KAILUA (KHNL) - Students and staff at an elementary school in Kailua are in shock. One of their beloved teachers is locked up at the Federal Detention Center, accused of drug offenses and possessing a loaded revolver that's not registered to her.
Beloved teacher by day. Suspected drug addict at night.
"The defendant admitted being a multi-gram user of cocaine and also a problem user of ice," Ed Kubo, US Attorney, said.
Bronwyn Kugle is a resource teacher at Kaelepule Elementary in Kailua. School officials say she teaches reading and math to small groups of students in grades two through six.
"If these charges prevail, then it will be the loss of an individual who had a higher purpose in life," Greg Knudsen, state Department of Education, said. "Teaching is a noble profession, and it's been misdirected through this tragic involvement."
The 38-year-old is accused of conspiring to distribute Cocaine and Ecstasy. Federal and state authorities arrested her at her home on Ulumawao Street Tuesday. They say they had intercepted a package sent to her house from California the day before.
"Kugle not only admitted to police that she was not only expecting the parcel, but she also knew that the parcel contained drugs," Kubo said.
Kugle's co-defendant is 28-year-old Jesse Badillo of Wahiawa. Prosecutors describe the school teacher as Badillo's financier.
"Badillo told police that Kugle had given him three loans totaling approximately $70,000 to allow him to acquire the drugs," Kubo said. "Badillo was paying Kugle back with these profits that he made from his drug sales."
The Department of Education says this in no way supports the call for universal or random drug testing of teachers. Law enforcement agents say they'll continue their crackdown.
"Especially when those drug dealers are mentors, role models or important persons in our children's lives," Kubo said.
The bail hearing for Kugle and Badillo is scheduled for next Tuesday.