COEUR D’ALENE – Larry Junior Hillbroom, 37, of Hope, Idaho, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. announced today. Chief Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale took Hillbroom’s plea and set the case for sentencing on February 8, 2022.
According to court records, in 2015 and 2016, Hillbroom conspired with others to smuggle methamphetamine through international airports between North Idaho and the Pacific Islands of Guam and Palau. Hillbroom and others used several different methods to smuggle the drugs, including shampoo containers and carrying the substance on their person. Once in Guam or Palau, Hillbroom would coordinate with locals to sell the methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers learned of the conspiracy and were able to investigate and ultimately arrest Hillbroom and his coconspirators.
Hillbroom was originally charged with Morgan Kenney, Zachary Craig Carlson, and Sean Robert Wathen, all of Hope, Idaho. Kenney and Carlson previously pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to federal prison. Wathen has plead not guilty to the conspiracy and is currently set for trial in November 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Gonzalez credited the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bonner County Sheriff's Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Coeur d'Alene Police Department, Idaho State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Marshals Service, which led to charges.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.