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Sirens & Gavels

Pot suspects to get private but public attorneys

Two accused marijuana smugglers will be represented by publicly paid, private attorneys because of a a conflict of interest with the federal defender’s office.

William Richard Paterson, 50, and Jahrum David Oakes, 32, both of Kelowna B.C, appeared in U.S District Court in Spokane this morning for bail hearings that were rescheduled next Friday at the request of their attorneys.

Frank Cikutovich is representing Oakes; Mark Casey is representing Paterson. Each will be paid $110 an hour, according to federal court documents. No details on the defender’s office conflict of interest was immediately available.

Paterson and Oakes were arrested Sunday night near the border in Ferry County after DEA agents say they were trying to smuggle in eight duffel bags filled with marijuana, weighing about 235 pounds. The men remain in Spokane County Jail.

Paterson, a thin man with a full beard and tattoos covering his left arm, requested his bail hearing be delayed to give him time to resolve “some family situations” back home, Casey said.

Oakes’ bail hearing was continued to the same day after Cikutovich said he needed more time to address flight risks raised by pre-trial services.

Assistant U.S Attorney Matt Duggan said Oakes, a taller man with a shaved face and slicked back hair, has already failed to appear in court once on an unrelated charge, is unemployed, has a “possible history of substance abuse” and has an outstanding misdemeanor warrant in Okanogan County.

Cikutovich said they have a tentative agreement regarding the Okanogan warrant and have been in contact with Oakes girlfriend of 2 1/2 years.

Kelowna, B.C., lawyer Marty Johnson will work with Oakes back home if he’s released, Cikutovich said.

Kelowna, a city of about 115,000, is a 255-mile drive from Spokane.

Next Friday’s bail hearing is set for 10:30 a.m.

Read a previous story on the bust here.


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