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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 2, 2021

Two Men from Hope, Idaho, Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

COEUR D’ALENE – Morgan Kenney, 35, and Zachary Craig Carlson, 30, of Hope, Idaho, were sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., today. Senior United States Ninth Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman sentenced Kenney to 52 months and Carlson to 37 months. Kenney and Carlson, upon completion of their time, were ordered to serve an additional three years of supervised release.

According to court records, in 2015 and 2016, Kenney and Carlson conspired with Larry Junior Hillbroom, 37, and Sean Robert Wathen, 49, to smuggle methamphetamine through international airports between North Idaho and the Pacific islands of Guam and Palau. Kenney and Carlson used several different methods to smuggle the drugs, including shampoo containers and carrying the substance on their person. Once in Guam or Palau, Kenney and Carlson would coordinate with locals to sell the methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers learned of the conspiracy and were able to investigate and ultimately arrest Kenney, Carlson, and their coconspirators.

The two remaining defendants, Hillbroom and Wathen, are currently scheduled for trial in November at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

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.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
CASSIE FULGHUM Public Information Officer (208) 334-1211
Updated July 2, 2021