Former Kailua Teacher Convicted on Federal Drug Charges

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Through tears, an Oahu educator pleads guilty to federal drug and firearm charges.

Bronwyn Kugle was a teacher at an elementary school in Kailua. Despite facing a lengthy prison sentence and the forfeiture of her home, she gives up her court fight Thursday.

Before throwing in the towel, an embattled teacher tells a judge she suffers from bipolar disorder, and is on medication for anxiety and depression.

"I think that maybe that's the result of being caught," Michael Kawahara, Assistant U.S. Attorney, said. "Obviously, what was motivating her to begin with is just complete greed."

Kugle, a 38-year-old mother of three, was a resource teacher at Kaelepulu Elementary.

She admits she accepted a package at her Ulumawao Street home that she believed contained drugs from California. The day before, investigators intercepted the real parcel, which had more than two pounds of cocaine and 989 Ecstasy tablets in it.

"She wanted to make a quick buck, for whatever reason, at the expense of everyone else in the state of Hawaii," Kawahara said. "And that's, that can't be tolerated."

Kugle pleads guilty to several counts, including conspiracy to distribute the drugs, and being a methamphetamine user in possession of a loaded revolver. She must now give up her interest in the house.

"The real property was used to facilitate the drug crimes in this case and, for which, we believe that there is adequate basis to forfeit that property," Kawahara said.

Kugle told the court she started off just trying to support her drug habit, but soon realized she could make money. She says being caught was a blessing in disguise.

"She looks a lot healthier to me, even though prison doesn't give you the best diet, doesn't give you the best living conditions," Howard Luke, defense attorney, said. "But she's been drug free, as she stated, for over 120 days."

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Kugle is scheduled to be sentenced October 1st.