6 charged after drugs found in car, hidden compartment in Tang container
Officials announced Friday that six people have been charged with conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine base in Vermont.
The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont said that a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment Thursday charging six defendants with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
The individuals charged are Michael Leslie, aka “Bear,” 40 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marvin Tyrone Crawford, aka “Ty,” 40, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pamela Yandow, 45 of St. Albans, Vermont, Tannar Yandow, 20 of St. Albans, Vermont, Donna Larose, 56 of St. Albans, Vermont, and Larnell Cunningham, 39, of New York, NY.
According to court documents, Leslie, Crawford, Pamela Yandow, Tannar Yandow, and Larose allegedly distributed controlled substances in Franklin County, Vermont. The group used Facebook’s Messenger application to communicate with customers to arrange transactions, and communicate with each other about their drug activities.
Officials said Leslie and Crawford would obtain cocaine and heroin from outside of Vermont and then transport the drugs into Vermont by automobile with assistance from coconspirators.
The first arrest occurred Feb. 9 when Larose was arrested by New York State Police for criminal possession of a controlled substance following a traffic stop in Fort Ann, New York.
Police said a search of her vehicle after impoundment resulted in the seizure of approximately 250-grams of what they believed to be powder cocaine, and miscellaneous paperwork bearing Leslie's name.
On May 23, a St. Albans Police Department officer conducted a traffic stop of a Chevrolet Impala operated by Cunningham. After obtaining a warrant, the officer searched the vehicle and discovered approximately 130 grams of what he suspected was cocaine base in a hidden compartment within a Tang drink mix container. Officers said they also seized a small digital scale, multiple small clear plastic baggies, four cellular telephones, as well as more documents bearing Leslie’s name.
Prior to and after May 23, police said they observed Leslie operating the same Chevrolet Impala.
Cunningham was charged by criminal complaint. Cunningham appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy on May 25 and was subsequently detained pending trial.
On May 24, an individual assisting law enforcement conducted a purchase of suspected cocaine base from Crawford. During this encounter, police reported that Crawford discussed the seizure of the cocaine base from Cunningham, and stated “he was supposed to be coming to see me.”
On July 17, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives obtained a search warrant for 49 Troy St., Apt. 1, in Richford, Vermont, where they encountered Leslie and Crawford and arrested both of them.
Police said Leslie was found in possession of $8,378 cash, a small digital scale, small empty wax bags, and kitchen utensils that police believed to contain trace amounts of controlled substances.
Agents said they also located Pamela Yandow and Tannar Yandow on July 18 and placed them under arrest.
Leslie, Crawford and Pamela Yandow appeared before U.S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions on July 18 and were held pending detention hearings. Tannar Yandow appeared before U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss on July 19 and was ordered detained pending a detention hearing. Larose has not yet appeared in court.
If Leslie, Crawford, or Pamela Yandow are convicted, officials said they face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and a maximum possible term of life in prison, and if Tannar Yandow, Larose, or Cunningham are convicted, they face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, and a maximum possible term of 40 years in prison.