Offshore drug bust has link to Keremeos

South Okanagan residents arrested after shipment of cocaine seized on sailboat in New Caledonia

Three Canadians arrested in New Caledonia after police boarded their sailboat and found 200 kilograms of cocaine on March 31 have ties to the South Okanagan.

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 known in the South Okanagan. 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 2010.

The Stanleys 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 reported in November 2009 that Yuzik was arrested during a grow-op bust on Cactus Crescent in Osoyoos. Yuzik was  charged with production of a controlled substance, but the charges were dropped in January 2010.

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.