Wahiawa parents are in shock.
A Leilehua High School teacher is now on unpaid leave. She’s in federal custody on charges relating to a drug operation.
KHON2 has learned that Janice Fontes is a special education teacher who said she started to get involved with a drug ring back in January.
With two weeks to go before the end of the school year, federal agents arrest Fontes. She’s accused of receiving meth in the mail and then sending cash from sales back to the mainland.
“Oh my gosh, that’s terrible,” Wahiawa resident Therese Delacerna said.
“Absolutely shocked. And someone who works in special ed? I would think they would be in a higher level of trust,” parent Dana Suzui said.
According to court documents, a red flag was raised when a FedEx parcel was intercepted last week. It contained 313 grams of meth and was headed to her ex-husband’s home in Wahiawa.
KHON2 also learned another parcel Fontes sent to California was intercepted. It contained $4,000 in cash.
Agents also discovered more drugs in the bedroom of her Wahiawa home.
On Tuesday, an agent found the teacher on campus during school hours. Fontes agreed to talk to him off campus and admitted every week she sent $6,000 to a California man, who she’s known for 20 years. He paid her $2,500 a month.
“Our kids need the best path in life that they can get. And drugs does not have to be a part of that,” parent Charlene Duplantier said.
“They should do better checks, background checks on the teachers,” Delacerna said.
“You send your kids to school and pay taxes and have confidence someone’s looking after them. It’s really shocking in our small, little town,” Suzui said.
KHON2 tried to contact the principal of Leilehua High School, but our calls have not been returned.
The Department of Education is conducting its own investigation, but technically Fontes remains an employee.
Fontes is scheduled to appear in court on Monday for a hearing to determine whether she can remain in federal custody without bail.