The news is out – a weekend story in The Province named the three Canadians under arrest in New Caledonia after police boarded their sailboat and found 200 kilograms of cocaine on March 31.
Bob and Cindy Stanley, and Gary Yuzik are reportedly being held in New Caledonia’s only prison, infamously known for its dirty and overcrowded conditions.
The three are well know in the Lower Similkameen and South Okanagan. Rumors began in May that they were involved in the drug smuggling.
Bob Stanley worked for the Village of Keremeos for 21 years in the maintenance department. He became the village’s maintenance foreman in 2006, retiring on a long term disability in April of 2010.
Although most of council and the village CAO did not know Stanley personally, CAO Laurie Taylor said there was nothing in the files to indicate there were issues with Stanley’s employment.
The Stanley’s last known address was in Summerland.
Gary Yuzik had a RE/Max real estate office in Keremeos for a period of time. The office was gutted by fire in 2009. A cause was never established.
Yuzik also served as president of Similkameen Country, the local Chamber of Commerce, in 2009.
The Osoyoos Times revealed the names of two residents arrested during a grow op bust on Cactus Crescent in Osoyoos on November 23, 2009.
Gary Yuzik and his wife Evelyn were arrested and were alleged to have operated a grow op in the residence. They were facing charges of production of a controlled substance, but after a scheduled court appearance on Jan.13, 2010, the charges were dropped.
Most recently, Yuzik was conducting business out of an office located in the OK Corral plaza in Okanagan Falls. Sources say the office was mysteriously and suddenly abandoned several months ago.
Rumours circulated through Keremeos in March regarding the disappearance of the three when close friends did not hear from them for several weeks.
New Caledonian authorities took several weeks to notify family members of their arrest, and to date have refused to disclose their identities to the public.
By Steve Arstad/Keremeos Review