Hope Man Sentenced to 138 months Imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

COEUR D’ALENE – Sean Robert Wathen, 50, was sentenced in United States District Court for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Wathen to 138 months in prison and ordered him to serve an additional five years of supervised release. 

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Wathen worked with Larry Junior Hillbroom and others to acquire and smuggle methamphetamine through international airports between North Idaho and the Pacific Islands of Guam and Palau.  Wathen acquired pounds of methamphetamine for Hillbroom over several months in 2015.  Hillbroom and others would then use several different methods to smuggle the drugs to Guam and Palau, including by placing them in shampoo containers and carrying the substance on their person.  Once in Guam or Palau, Hillbroom would coordinate with local individuals to sell the methamphetamine.  

Wathen was originally charged with Morgan Kenney, 36, Zachary Craig Carlson, 31, and Larry Junior Hillbroom, 37, all of Hope, Idaho.  Kenney, Carlson, and Hillbroom previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to imprisonment.  Morgan Kenny was sentenced to 52 months, Zachary Craig Carlson was sentenced to 37 months, and Larry Junior Hillbroom was sentenced to 96 months.   

U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit, of the District of Idaho, made the announcement and commended the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, 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 the charges and convictions.

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“Whether illegal drugs are being pushed into Idaho or sent as far away as Palau and Guam, we will spare no effort to track down drug traffickers and hold them accountable,” said Hurwit.  “I’m proud of the impressive work by the dedicated attorneys and staff of our office and our partner federal agents and local detectives, who work tirelessly together to maximize all of our combined resources to bring to justice those who traffic drugs in our communities.”

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.

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