Ex-B.C. Lions star Yonus Davis gets nearly three years in prison for Ecstasy trafficking
Then-B.C. Lions kick returner Yonus Davis during a Sept. 7 2010 practice at the CFL team's training facility in Surrey.
Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost, PNG files
Yonus Davis, the CFL’s West Division special teams player of the year in 2010, was sentenced to 33 months in prison Thursday for his involvement in the possession and distribution of 30 kg. of Ecstasy, an illegal drug often used by young adults at dance clubs, all-night raves and rock concerts.
The former B.C. Lion, now 28, pleaded guilty to the charge in February 2012 after Davis was caught up in a sting operation by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and arrested on April 9, 2011. He was released by the Lions on May 3 of that year.
Dressed in orange prison garb, Davis spoke briefly to presiding judge D. Lowell Jensen in San Jose federal district court, saying, “I understand what I have done,” according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News.
By court order, Davis had been electronically monitored and confined to his home except for pre-trial visits, court appearances, attorney visits, religious services, doctor appointments and employment. He was forced to obtain court sanction to attend family gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.
A running back at San Jose State from 2003 to 2008, the 5-7, 185-pound Davis joined the Lions for the 2010 CFL season and was an immediate sensation in his first game, when he scored on an 88-yard kickoff return, July 30, 2010, against the Edmonton Eskimos.
He later had 244 punt return yards in a single game against the Calgary Stampeders and an 88-yard punt return TD Oct. 31 against Saskatchewan.
Davis, who earned $43,000 in his first year with the Lions, was looking to have his contract extended with a significant pay boost in 2011 when he was nabbed by DEA officials at the home he was renting in Milpitas, Calif. He told the undercover agents he has planning to sell 40,000 tablets of the drug Ecstasy.
A DEA search of Davis’s BMW 745i also discovered a large amount of U.S. currency in the amount of $7,000.
He was arrested and later released after posting bail of $150,000. Davis faced up to a $1 million fine and/or 20 years in prison on the charge.
According to a Mercury News report, federal prosecutors were seeking to impose a 51-month sentence. Davis’s lawyers, however, urged Jensen to impose only a 21-month sentence, citing “his childhood as the son of a murdered father and crack-addicted mother.”
Varell L. Fuller, a deputy federal public defender, told Jensen that Davis’s life is "in ruin," and that he's "a man who has hit bottom."
The Mercury News said Charles Nash, Davis’s running backs coach at San Jose State, spoke on his behalf, recounting to the judge Davis' troubled background. He also received numerous letters of support for leniency, including one from former San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey.
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