Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Gun collector
gets 1-year term

The Nanakuli teacher also
is fined $3,600 for possessing
parts for a machine gun


Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003

>> A Nanakuli Elementary School teacher was sentenced to two years in federal prison for weapon offenses. A Page A3 article on Tuesday incorrectly reported that John Kadota, of Kapolei, received a one-year prison term.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

A Nanakuli schoolteacher who admitted to importing and possessing machine gun components has been sentenced to a year in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Susan Mollway also ordered John Kadota, 43, a computer resource teacher at Nanakuli Elementary, to turn over any remaining firearms in his possession so they can be destroyed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Investigators said Kadota, of Kapolei, already owned 17 guns when he used his computer at school to order the machine-gun frame over the Internet from Germany in July 2002.

Kadota was a gun collector and wanted to add the automatic to his collection, said federal Public Defender Loretta Faymonville. She said Kadota received a "fair" sentence.

Until he ordered the machine-gun receiver, all the guns Kadota owned were legal and properly registered, she said.

Kadota pleaded guilty in May and was facing a maximum of 10 years in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faced between 24 and 30 months.

Kadota declined to address the court yesterday, but his attorney said he submitted a letter indicating his remorse for his actions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshall Silverberg had argued for a tougher sentence and said prosecutors still have no idea why Kadota went through the trouble of obtaining a firearm that cannot be used to fire automatically or used at any gun range here.

While family and friends sent letters to the court in support of Kadota, there is another side of him that his school colleagues saw, Silverberg said.

Kadota, who suffered from depression, had allegedly written an e-mail that made the school principal and vice principal feel threatened, Silverberg said.

Mollway ordered Kadota to pay a $3,600 fine and placed him on three years of supervision upon release from federal prison. He will not be allowed to possess any firearms, dangerous weapons or ammunition.

While she was concerned about Kadota's mental health, Mollway said it was in his favor that he has no previous criminal history, had been gainfully employed until last year and has the support of his family.

Kadota, who was placed on administrative leave from the Department of Education shortly after he was arrested a year ago, is not likely to get a job teaching once he gets out of prison, Faymonville said. Kadota has taught in the public schools since 1992 and at Nanakuli since 1998.

School officials have said that Kadota's interest in gun collecting did not affect his work or create a dangerous environment for his students.


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