Tadd Fujikawa's dad pleads guilty to drug charges
By Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Will Hoover
Derrick Fujikawa, father of 18-year-old professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa, pleaded guilty this morning in Circuit Court to two counts of second-degree methamphetamine trafficking.
Fujikawa, 45, faces up to 10 years in the plea agreement, although Judge Steven Alm told Fujikawa that he would be inclined to impose a sentence at the low end of the mandatory one- to four-year minimum because Fujikawa had admitted his wrongdoing and because he had no prior convictions.
However, the judge made certain Fujikawa pleaded guilty with the understanding that the Hawaii Paroling Authority would set what the defendant's actual sentence would be — which could be anywhere from one to 10 years, with the sentences running concurrently.
Fujikawa, who had been free on $50,000 bail, told Alm he understood. Speaking quietly, he also told the judge he understood the charges against him, that he was giving up his right to a trial, and that he had received no promises or assurances regarding his sentence.
Tadd Fujikawa, sitting next to his mother, Lori Fujikawa, sat silently through the change of plea hearing, watching attentively and occasionally casting his eyes downward. Fujikawa became a celebrity two years ago when, at age 16, he became the youngest person to make a PGA Tour cut in 50 years. He has since turned professional.
The elder Fujikawa was indicted July 31 by an Oahu grand jury for distributing one-eighth of an ounce or more of meth to an undercover officer on two occasions. He had originally pleaded not guilty to two Class A felony counts for drug trafficking, for which he would have faced up to 20 years on each count.
Judge Alm set Fujikawa's sentencing date for April 6.
Reach Will Hoover at email@example.com.