Tiny town shocked by locals' drug arrests overseas
Three people from the tiny B.C. village of Keremeos are now being held in an overcrowded South Pacific prison following a $70-million cocaine bust.
Retired public works foreman Bob Stanley, his wife Cindy and real estate agent Gary Yuzik were arrested by Australian federal police in March off the coast of New Caledonia. Authorities say they seized about 200 kilograms of cocaine from the trio's boat after tracking it on an erratic voyage from South America.
Family friend Karl Schorb told CTV News he was shocked to hear the news about the Stanleys.
"I'm still stunned. I still don't believe it. I can't -- I can't believe it's them," he said.
Bonnie Sawiuk, an acquaintance of the couple, knew the Stanleys had bought a sailboat in St. Lucia, but never suspected them of any criminal activity.
"It came as a total surprise to me, and I'm sure most people that even know Bob and Cindy are shocked," she said.
But locals in the village of 1,300 say trouble has followed Yuzik, who met the Stanleys after he bought a RE/MAX office in Keremeos. That office later burned down, although the cause of the fire was never determined.
According to the Osoyoos Times newspaper, Yuzik was arrested after a marijuana grow-op bust but was never charged.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Kent Molgat