Feds get first guilty plea in Idaho drug trafficking ring
Wed., Sept. 14, 2016
Federal prosecutors have their first guilty plea in a multistate drug trafficking ring involving at least 20 people, including a Coeur d’Alene gastroenterologist, his wife and her children.
Geena Lauren Milho, 25, of c, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to distribute heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamine. Milho and 10 others were indicted by a federal grand jury in Coeur d’Alene on April 19.
In a plea agreement, Milho admitted she was part of the trafficking organization that prosecutors allege was headed by Loren Michelle Toelle, wife of Stanley Alvin Toelle, a gastroenterologist who worked at Kootenai Health and is charged in the case with conspiracy to launder money.
The organization transported drugs from Nevada and California to Idaho, Washington, Montana and North Dakota from 2009 until early this year, according to federal indictments. Milho became a member of the operation at least by 2015 and helped transport, conceal and sell heroin, meth and oxycodone, as well as transport profits from drug sales via wire transfers, prepaid card accounts and FedEx shipments, according to her plea of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
“During the course of her involvement in the conspiracy, it was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant that the Toelle (drug trafficking organization) distributed 600 30-milligram oxycodone pills and at least 450 grams of heroin and 250 grams of a mixture of methamphetamine,” the plea states.
Milho, who is in federal custody in the Bonner County Jail, could receive up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $1 million fine when she is sentenced Jan. 18, 2017. She also agreed to forfeit any interest she has in real property, jewelry or cash held by herself or co-conspirators and outlined in the indictment.
Investigators allege the drug ring produced at least $1.3 million in proceeds since 2009. The U.S. attorney’s office for Idaho is seeking forfeiture of at least that amount in cash plus four homes and 10 vehicles belonging to defendants.
Kootenai Health placed Dr. Stanley Toelle on “precautionary leave” after his arrest Feb. 4. He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to launder money, and he is still licensed to practice medicine in Idaho.
Toelle filed for divorce from his wife in May, but a judge has not yet granted the petition.
Loren Toelle pleaded not guilty to felony drug distribution on March 17. Three of her children, her brother and several of their friends also were indicted in the case, which is set for trial next March.
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