DHL heir Junior Larry Imeong Hillbroom, who escaped and was captured after fleeing drug trafficking charges, has been remanded to the custody of the Koror Jail in Palau.
Hillbroom on Monday pleaded not guilty to the charge of escape in the first degree after an arraignment before Associate Justice Lourdes Materne.
A status conference has been set for March 4 at 1 p.m.
Hillbroom is being held in prison without bail and is detained in a secure cell 23 hours a day.
The Ministry of Justice said the defendant is only â€œallowed to come out for one hour each day for sunlight and fresh air. No one is allowed to visit Hillbroom, except for his lawyer, at his lawyerâ€™s request. If he comes out of his cell to talk to his lawyer, he will be in handcuffs and leg irons.â€
Hillbroom, one of the heirs of DHL founder Larry Hillblom was arrested upon his arrival from Manila on Feb. 17. Hillbroom’s last name is a variation of his father’s because his mother misspelled â€œHillblomâ€ on the birth certificate.
The drug case
About 160 grams of methamphetamine were seized from passengers on a United Airlines flight that arrived at the Airai Airport on Feb. 13 from Manila. This led to Hillbroomâ€™s arrest.
According to court documents, a Palauan woman named Sorch Meyar from Meyuns and a Filipina identified as Elenita Villaruel arrived on the Feb. 13 flight. Upon search of their belongings, the â€œiceâ€ was found concealed on them.
The two women were reportedly promised money by Hillbroom to carry the drug.
Hillbroom allegedly paid for their airline tickets, and the said they would be paid upon arrival in Palau.
The seized amount has a local street value of $160,000.
The penalty for conviction in the trafficking a controlled substance is between 25 and 50 years in prison and fines of $50,000 to $1 million or both.
The penalty for escape is a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
Hillbroom on Friday escaped from the Koror Jail. He had been talking to a visitor inside the Division of Corrections office when he suddenly ran out the front door. He jumped into the passenger side of a white pickup parked outside the jail. A police officer ran after Hillbroom and tried to stop him and the pickup from getting away, but failed and was injured in the process.
About 9 p.m. on Friday, police received a tip that Hillbroom was driving a blue Nissan X-Trail around Koror. Police started looking for the SUV and found it about an hour later speeding toward Meyuns. Police drove to Meyuns and spotted the X-Trail parked near the Sureor Gym. Hillbroom was standing in the summerhouse near the gym. When he saw the police, he started running. Police chased him down to a sandy area near a stand of mangroves where they apprehended him. He was brought to the Koror Jail at 11:05 p.m.
Hillbroom lives in Idaho with his family and they have been back in Palau for some months.