Special Ed Teacher Sentenced For Drug Dealing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Special Ed Teacher Sentenced For Drug Dealing

Lee Anzai Lee Anzai
Howard Luke Howard Luke

By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- A Hawaii public school teacher who admits he moonlighted as a drug dealer learns his punishment. It was a packed courtroom for Lee Anzai's sentencing Monday.

He lived a double life. Public school teacher by day. Drug dealer and addict at night.

"Parents expect their children to be educated in a secure environment by teachers who are not affected as Mr. Anzai was," Howard Luke, defense attorney, said. "Mr. Anzai himself feels very badly."

Lee Anzai was a special education teacher at Leilehua High School.

The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine distribution charge in December. He admits he sold crystal meth to an undercover officer on five separate occasions.

"He realizes that what he has done is a terrible thing in the context of being a special education teacher," Luke said. "And he feels he's let his students down."

Before sentencing, Anzai told the judge, "I just want to apologize to the court and to my community, to my students, my family members and friends for what I have done."

Although the crime carries a penalty of 10 years to life in prison, prosecutors seek less than that because of Anzai's cooperation in another case. The judge hands down a four-year sentence.

"I got sentenced, yeah. I gotta do my time," Anzai said after the hearing.

Since his arrest, he's completed a residential drug treatment program.

"He understands now how terrible this drug is," Luke said. "I think when you're in the throes of addiction, sometimes you really can't understand."

Anzai must surrender to Federal authorities to begin serving his sentence July 24th.

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