Monday, September 9, 2013

Robert Evon Denied Bail, Accused of International Drug Conspiracy

Last week I wrote about Robert Evon, former owner of Portland's Port City Music Hall. He was arrested on Federal Drug Trafficking charges in Portland. He was then transferred to Syracuse New York since the case was indicted out of that district. He had an arraignment there on 8/30/13 and plead not guilty. Evon remained in custody pending a detention hearing set for 9/4/13. At that hearing, the Judge heard evidence that Evon was part of an international drug smuggling operation involved with importing 77 kilograms of cocaine. She then denied him bail.

An International Drug Smuggling Operation

Evon was up against 18 USC § 3142(e)(3)(A). That statute allows the prosecution to invoke a rebuttable presumption that a defendant, indicted on drug a offense with a maximum sentence of 10 years or more should be held without bail. The mandatory minimum sentence for Evon is 10 years. At the bail hearing, the government estimated that Evon's Sentencing Guideline Range was at least 168 months and up to 293 months. That's 14 to 24 years.

In her pretrial detention order Judge Therese Wiley Dancks found that Evon failed to sufficiently rebut the presumption favoring detention. Though he has almost no criminal history and strong family support, Judge Dancks found that the seriousness of the case required detention. Here's paragraph three of her order:
3. The Weight of the Evidence Against the Defendant
The court has weighed the evidence against Defendant as alleged in the indictment and as proffered at the detention hearing and finds it supports detention. The evidence appears to show that Defendant was involved in a conspiracy involving importation of approximately seventy-seven (77) kilograms of cocaine through several states including California, New Jersey and Vermont, and Canada. The Government indicated that Defendant has ties to an international drug smuggling operation. The alleged volume of cocaine and alleged ties to international smuggling operations on the part of the Defendant are of particular concern to the court and support detention. 
If any of that is true, we are in for a very interesting ride. At this point, jury selection is set for 10/21/2013 at 09:30 AM in Syracuse NY before Judge Glenn T. Suddaby. In a case like this, it's very likely that the selection date will be continued.

+Scott Dolan of the Portland Press Herald had also been covering this case. You can read his story about Evon's arrest and arraignment here and here's his coverage of the detention hearing.