Golfer Tadd Fujikawa's dad pleads guilty to drug charges

Derrick Fujikawa
Derrick Fujikawa
Victor Bakke
Victor Bakke

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The father of Hawaii-born professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to drug charges Tuesday.

Tadd Fujikawa is known for his exuberance on the links. But on this day, the pint-sized golf phenom displays a somber side as he walks with his dad, drug defendant Derrick Fujikawa, to a Honolulu courtroom.

"Mr. (Derrick) Fujikawa wants to get this behind him," Victor Bakke, defense attorney, said. "Every time he shows up in court, you know, his son's name comes up."

"In the last 24 hours, have you had any alcohol, drugs or medication?" the judge asked the defendant.

"No," Derrick Fujikawa replied.

After originally pleading not guilty, the elder Fujikawa now admits he arranged methamphetamine deals with an undercover officer in 2007.

"Mr. Fujikawa, who was never a source, said I know people that sell the drugs," Bakke said. "In exchange, Mr. Fujikawa wanted just a little bit of the drug. You know, we're talking less than an ounce in two, in the two deals."

Fujikawa's attorney says he did it to support his drug habit.

"Somebody made an allegation that he was doing this to support his son's golfing career or something, you know," Bakke said. "And this really doesn't have anything to do with Tadd."

"Guilty," the defendant said in court.

He pleads guilty to two counts of second-degree meth trafficking. The offense carries a mandatory prison term.

At sentencing, Circuit Judge Steven Alm will set the minimum term between one and four years.

"The parole board can't go below that," Peter Marrack, deputy prosecutor, said. "But they can go above that up to 10 years."

"What will be your recommendation?" this reporter asked.

"It depends," Marrack replied. "We'll look at the pre-sentence report and we'll decide."

Fujikawa's lawyer says the 45-year-old completed drug treatment, and has been clean for about 15 months.

"He's on a good path right now," Bakke said. "But we understand we still have to deal with what happened."

Sentencing is set for April 6th.