(Gillette, Wyo.) The morning of Tuesday, May 31st, when Gillette police officers arrested Bo Yi Chen, Zhi Wei Liang, and Wu Bo Huang -- all Chinese nationals -- they had some trouble securing an interpreter that could speak Cantonese. Wednesday morning, nearly three months later, Campbell County Circuit Court still had the same problem. A miscommunication meant that the interpreter asked to aid Yi Bo Chen and Wu Bo Huang in court was not present, and had to repeat everything over a speakerphone. Also not aware that this was a preliminary hearing, and therefore would take more than an hour, the interpreter had to leave, as she had a flight to catch. She continued the rest of the hearing on her cell phone on the way to the airport. The DEA agent that trained Jefferson Bus Lines employees in Montana to spot drug trafficking is who originally called in the three men in May. While his tips to local law enforcement helped stop 93 pounds of drugs in Gillette, they also caught 200 pounds in two other busts
out of Montana, on the same bus line, in the same week.
But that agent did not give the name of the fourth suspect in the case, a
man who allegedly took Chen, Huang, and Liang out to dinner in Seattle,
gave them three brand new suitcases and bus tickets to New Jersey, and told
them not to peek in their luggage. Unfortunately that suspect still has not
been caught, and defense for Huang points out that this "bad guy" easily
"took advantage of three men."
The prosecution brought up how Huang was the only one of the three who
seemed to know he was in any trouble, as he was the only one of the three
who fled the original arrest scene at Shell Food Mart and was found at
Gillette Airport trying to buy a ticket back to Seattle.
Chen's defense pointed out that Chen -- spoke the least English -- had the
least chance of knowing what was going on. There was no proof he was aware
of what was in the bag, which bag was supposedly his, whether or not he
handled the bag or the ticket buying to Jersey, or whether or not he'd
handled the drugs in the luggage at all.
Both Chen and Huang's council asked that their cases not be bound over to
District Court, which Judge Terril Tharp denied. Judge Tharp pointed out
that while there may have been issues with translation in the interview
process, it's not in doubt that the three men were on their way from
Seattle to New Jersey with luggage in their name containing 93 pounds of
marijuana, the street value of which is nearly $600,000.
All three men are being charged with possession of a controlled substance
with attempt to deliver, a possible 10 year prison sentence if convicted.
Suspects in trafficking case deny knowledge of drugs
Three suspects caught with 93 pounds of marijuana