Teacher Sentenced to 3+ Years in Drug Conspiracy Case - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Teacher Sentenced to 3+ Years in Drug Conspiracy Case

Bronwyn Kugle Bronwyn Kugle
Roger Tansley Roger Tansley
Michael Kawahara Michael Kawahara
Howard Luke Howard Luke

By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- An Oahu teacher convicted of conspiring to distribute Cocaine and Ecstasy received her punishment in federal court Tuesday.

Bronwyn Kugle's supporters describe her as a dedicated teacher who made some mistakes, while prosecutors say she's a drug trafficker motivated by greed. Tuesday morning, she tearfully apologized for letting people in her community down.

Roger Tansley still has a lot of faith in his daughter -- elementary school teacher and convicted drug offender Bronwyn Kugle.

"I have every confidence that she will come back, and that she'll be with us as a contributing member of society," Tansley said.

In February, investigators intercepted a package sent to Kugle's home. Prosecutors say it contained more than two pounds of Cocaine and nearly 1,000 tablets of Ecstasy, a drug popular among young people.

"She elected to be a financier of drug trafficking," Michael Kawahara, Assistant U.S. Attorney, said. "She was brazen or depraved enough to want to prey upon, you know, these young children that she's supposed to be teaching."

"You were a role model," Susan Oki Mollway, federal judge, told the mother of three. "You sent the worst possible kind of message to young children."

The judge handed down a sentence that was below what the Government recommended. Kugle will serve 37 months in prison, and will undergo substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Her attorney says the 38-year-old suffers from bipolar disorder, and has been a drug user for years.

"Everyone says she was an outstanding teacher," Howard Luke, defense attorney, said. "Her commitment was 100-percent. The fact that she was still able to function was quite remarkable considering her addiction."

If Tansley could speak to his daughter?

"I would say I love her, keep her chin up, we're all behind her," he said.

Kugle has already served eight months of the three-year sentence. The judge also ordered her to forfeit her interest in the home where the drugs were delivered.

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