Hillbroom recaptured after trying to escape Palau police


Junior Larry Hillbroom, one of the four DNA-proven children of the late business tycoon and late DHL co-founder Larry Lee Hillblom, was recaptured hours after he allegedly escaped from police custody on Friday, just a few days after he was arrested over the seizure of $160,000 worth of 160 grams of methamphetamine or “ice.”

Hillbroom, 31, was recaptured after he allegedly dove into the water and tried to swim when police tracked a vehicle at a dock in a town called Meyuns Hamlet in Palau before midnight on Friday, according to news reports.

Hillbroom was first served with an arrest warrant for a trafficking controlled substance charge when he arrived in Palau from Manila early Wednesday morning, according to a press release by Palau’s Ministry of Justice.

Combined efforts of the Bureau of Public Safety, the Division of Customs, and the Belau Drug Enforcement Task Force led to Hillbroom’s arrest at the Palau International Airport.

The arrest of Hillbroom came after two women who arrived from Manila last Feb. 12 were found concealing 160 grams of “ice.”

Further investigation indicated that Hillbroom was the supplier of the seized “ice.”

According to court papers, the two women claimed that Hillbroom “offered to pay them when they arrived in Palau.”

Hillbroom allegedly paid for the women’s airline tickets. Authorities allegedly recorded a phone call to Hillbroom in which he acknowledged his role in the plan to bring the illegal drugs to Palau.

Hillbroom was taken before a court on Thursday and a bail of $500,000 (RM 2.1 million) surety or $250,000 cash bond was imposed.

On Friday, Hillbroom was allegedly talking to a visitor inside the Division of Corrections when he escaped by running out the front door and jumping into a passenger side of a pickup truck that was parked outside the Koror jail.

The driver of the truck was arrested that same day.

Hillbroom’s mother, Kaelani Kinney, is Palauan. Hillbroom is based in the U.S. mainland, but has been staying in Palau in recent months, according to news reports in Palau.

In September 2005, Hillbroom was arrested for allegedly in possession of “ice” and marijuana in Guam. The discovery of drugs was made after police stopped a vehicle driven by Hillbroom for driving at a high speed and failing to signal at a turn. He allegedly offered bribe money to a police officer.

Hillbroom signed a plea deal with Guam government and pleaded guilty to one count of possession of “ice.” He was allowed in November 2005 to leave Palau for a drug rehabilitation center in the U.S mainland.

Guam lawyer David J. Lujan served as counsel for Hillbroom in the Guam drug case. Lujan was also the lead counsel in Hillbroom’s successful legal battle in CNMI Supreme Court to claim part of Hillblom’s multi-million estate.

Hillbroom’s name is spelled differently from DHL co-founder Larry Hillblom.

Hillbroom has filed a legal malpractice lawsuit against Lujan and another former counsel, Barry Israel, in the U.S. District Court for the NMI. The case is still pending in court.

Hillbroom is suing the two lawyers for allegedly conspiring with a former trustee to inflate the attorney’s contingency fee when Hillblom’s fortune was still undergoing probate proceedings in Superior Court.

Hillblom, founder of DHL Express, died in a plane crash off Anatahan waters in 1995. His body was never recovered.

Approximately $100 million in assets were distributed to Hillbroom in the settlement of the probate case for Hillblom estate.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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