DHL heir Larry Hillbroom Jr. is facing prison for violation of his probation after he failed a mandatory drugs test imposed on him in June as part of a trafficking sentence.
In a hearing yesterday, Associate Justice Lourdes Materne found Hillbroom in violation of his probation despite his lawyer’s argument in court that a drug he took a day before the scheduled test caused a false positive on for methamphetamine.
Hillbroom took the stand and denied taking methamphetamine and instead told the court that he has taken Ritalin, a drug used for the treatment of ADHD.
Bill Ridpath, Hillbroom’s lawyer pinned Ritalin as the culprit for a false positive that resulted to his client flunking the drug screen. He said that there should be a more sophisticated method of testing to rule out incorrect results.
However, Justice Materne agreed with the argument of Assistant Attorney General Graham Leach that the defense did not question the method of drug testing during the plea agreement hearing, a matter which should have been raised before Hillbroom entered a plea deal.
Materne scheduled Hillbroom’s sentencing for violating his probation on September 25. He will remain in jail until his scheduled sentencing.
Hillbroom can face a prison term of more than five years for violating the condition of his plea agreement.
In June, the multi-millionaire was sentenced to 10 years’ probation, fined USD 50,000 and ordered to undergo a drugs rehabilitation program after admitting to trafficking methamphetamine.
Hillbroom is the son of Larry Hillblom, co-founder of DHL company.
Before pleading guilty to trafficking charges, Hillbroom was facing a jail term of up to 50 years, He escaped jail time after entering a plea agreement.
The plea bargain, however, was heavily criticized by the public and officials led by President Tommy Remengesau Jr.
Remengesau said Palau has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and the law should apply equally to everyone regardless of wealth.
Hillbroom was on the run two days after an arrest warrant was issued against him for failing the drug test on July 16. After two days police found and arrested him. (Bernadette H. Carreon)