(From Vancouver Sun)
A freaky runner whose unpredictability makes it difficult for CFL defences to contain him, B.C. Lions running back/kick returner Yonus Davis is on a wayward path of a different sort.
The 26-year-old from Oakland, Calif., selected as the most outstanding special teams player in the CFL’s West Division last season, is facing one count of possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute in a federal court in San Jose.
A pro rookie last season from San Jose State, the 5-7, 190-pound scatback was caught after Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents, posing as Federal Express personnel, nabbed Davis with a parcel containing approximately 67 pounds of ecstasy tablets. Ecstasy is an illegally-manufactured drug sold in tablet, capsule or powder form with hallucinogenic properties. Even occasional use of small amounts of ecstasy may damage brain cells.
Davis was arraigned in San Jose on April 13 and returned to federal court six days later for a detention hearing. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison in addition to a $1 million dollar fine.
The Lions issued a press release Wednesday afternoon, noting that Davis had been detained in California but offering no further details.
Lions head coach and general manager Wally Buono later told The Vancouver Sun that news of Davis’s possible legal troubles surfaced on the weekend, while team officials were running a free agent camp in Atlanta.
“I’m not even 100 per cent sure there have been charges,” Buono told The Sun. “Now, we’re trying to figure out what exactly is going on. We put it out there [press release] because we wanted people to know that there had been an incident. We could have said nothing. Then, all of a sudden, there is a bunch of speculation put out there on the grapevine.”
According to court documents obtained by The Sun, Davis was detained by DEA agents on April 9 after the suspect parcel was delivered to the address of Jane Davis, in Milpitas, Calif. Yonus Davis told DEA agents that he lived at the same address.
Agents also observed another man, identified as “Robert Jordon”, fleeing from the scene. It is not known whether the individual named “Jordon” is Robert Jordan, another Lions rookie last season who lost his starting job as the team’s main kick returner to Davis. “Jordon” was taken to the Milpitas police station and booked on state charges of evasion and delaying an investigation.
In a statement, Davis acknowledged that he was expecting a Federal Express parcel containing 40 “boats" of ecstasy. One “boat" is street slang for approximately 1,000 tablets. Davis said the ecstasy shipment of April 9 was the second he had received from a Haitian male, identified as “Red”, an individual Davis had met before in downtown Seattle.
A DEA search of Davis’s BMW 745i also found a large amount of U.S. currency in the amount of $7,000.
The player is being represented by an attorney from the federal public defender’s office in San Jose.
Before he knows more, Buono said it’s too early to say what Davis’s legal situation will mean to his football future in Canada.
“As a team, we want our American players to understand they’re subject to the immigration laws of Canada,” Buono said. “But this is something which has occurred in another jurisdiction, and we have no control over that. Once we know more, we’ll try and deal with it the best way we can.”
Though Davis didn’t make an appearance for the Lions until the fifth game of the 2010 season, he scored on an 88-yard return in his debut game, July 30 against the Edmonton Eskimos. He went on to finish as the West Division’s combined yards leader (1,642).
Davis was a finalist for the CFL’s year-end awards, finishing as the runner-up to Toronto’s Chad Owens in the outstanding special teams player category.