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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Daughter of accused drug ringleader pleads guilty in Idaho to money laundering charge

The daughter of an accused drug trafficking ringleader operating out of North Idaho pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiracy to launder money from illegal drugs sold across five states.

Sherlann Simon, 34, of North Las Vegas, Nevada, admitted to laundering $482,955 from the trafficking organization that authorities say was led by her mother, Loren Toelle, the wife of a Coeur d’Alene gastroenterologist.

Simon deposited drug profits into her personal bank accounts and business accounts belonging to Vegas Stylz House of Beauty, a Las Vegas hair salon owned by Simon and Toelle, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said. Simon used a portion of the profits to pay expenses related to the organization, further promoting drug trafficking, Olson said.

When sentenced in January, Simon could receive up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

She is the second person to plead guilty from a federal grand jury indictment of 11 individuals. Investigators say the drug ring transported heroin, methamphetamine and oxycodone from Nevada and California to Idaho, Washington, Montana and North Dakota from 2009 until early this year.

Toelle has pleaded not guilty to felony drug distribution. Toelle and two of her other children, as well as her brother and several of their friends, also were indicted. The case is set to go to trial next March.

Toelle’s husband, Stanley Alvin Toelle, a gastroenterologist who worked at Kootenai Health, is charged with conspiracy to launder money. He was placed on “precautionary leave” after his arrest Feb. 4, pleaded not guilty and filed for divorce in May.

In September, co-defendant Geena Lauren Milho, 25, of of Williston, North Dakota, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, oxycodone and meth.