Local dope ring arrested
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Philip Yates, 73, his brother Jean Yates,57, both of Stanstead, Quebec, and Joey Davidson, 42, of Ayers Cliff, Quebec, have all recently been arrested on charges that they conspired to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States. Jean Yates was arrested on October 18 as he attempted to enter the United States from Canada. On October 19, he pleaded not guilty to the indictment in United States District Court in Burlington and was held without bail pending another hearing on October 24. Philip Yates and Davidson were arrested in Canada on October 19 and 20 on extradition warrants and will have appearances in courts in Quebec in connection with the United States’ request that they be extradited to Vermont to stand trial.
On March 12,2009, a federal grand jury in Burlington returned a twocount indictment naming the Yates brothers and Davidson. All three defendants are accused of conspiring, between the beginning of 2008 through September 25, 2008, to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States. Philip Yates alone is also accused of smuggling about 30 pounds of marijuana into Vermont on September 25, 2008. Those drugs were seized by agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 40 years of imprisonment, a mandatory minimum prison term of five years, and a fine of up to $4,000,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.
This case was investigated by the Southern Vermont State Drug Task Force and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jean Yates is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Steven Barth. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.