Leprosy patient gets 5 years for drug charges

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Associated Press

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 12:06 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — The youngest resident of the Hawaiian leprosy settlement that produced the state's first Roman Catholic saint has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for trying to smuggle illegal drugs to Kalaupapa from Honolulu.

The sentence imposed Monday on 69-nine-year-old Norbert Palea was the minimum prescribed under federal drug laws.

He faced a maximum sentence of 40 years after pleading guilty in August to two counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Palea has lived at the former Molokai colony for Hansen's disease patients made famous by Father Damien in the mid-1800s, since he was 6 years old.

He was charged last year with trying to mail more than half an ounce of meth the drug to Kalaupapa and hiding the drug in his luggage while he was in Oahu receiving medical treatment.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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