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Two Men Found Guilty of Marijuana Trafficking over 100 Pounds

May 07, 2024 Press Releases

On Monday, May 6th, Yebin Mai (Staten Island, NY: 3/7/1992) and Dem Wu (Staten Island, NY: 10/31/1971) were found guilty by jury of their peers in Berkshire Superior Court.

Yebin Mai was found guilty of two charges: Marijuana Trafficking in 100 pounds or more but less than 2,000 pounds and Witness Intimidation. Dem Wu was found guilty of Marijuana Trafficking in 100 pounds or more but less than 2,000 pounds.

On July 30, 2020, the Massachusetts State Police (Cheshire Barricks) were dispatched to respond to a request for assistance from the Eversource Electric Company. The emergency dispatcher stated that two Eversource linemen were attempting to fix an electrical problem when they had a confrontation with individuals at 72 Jackson Road, Savoy Massachusetts. (The residence belonged to Bin Huang after he purchased it in 2017 for $200,000 cash.)

When state troopers arrived, the linemen stated that they responded to a report from a resident at 72 Jackson Road, Savoy claiming that power was fluctuating. When the linemen arrived at the house, they observed severely damaged wires and insulators leading from the roadside poles to the residence. When the Eversource linemen approached the house a man came out to meet them. The man, later identified as Yebin Mai, spoke limited English; therefore, communication between the Eversource linemen and resident became difficult. The linemen tried to explain that they would need to turn the power off to conduct a safety check of the electric meter and surrounding electrical connections. Mai became agitated. He handed the linemen an envelope filled with money (later determined to be $600). The linemen attempted to return the envelope multiple times, but Mai would not take it. The linemen decided to leave the property. They called the police and waited for them to arrive.

A trooper and Eversource supervisor arrived on the road at the end of 72 Jackson Road’s driveway. A short time later, Mai drove down the driveway and attempted to leave in a pick-up truck with New York plates. There were two other passengers in the truck, including Dem Wu.

The trooper instructed Mai to stop and turn off the truck which he obeyed. All the individuals returned to the residence so the linemen could complete their inspection.

In a police report, the following items were observed at and around the house:

  • 4 separate electrical meters in poorly constructed boxes on the side of the house
  • Some melted wires and metal around the meter boxes (believed to be due to an excessive amount of energy being drawn through the wires)
  • Evidence of a small fire around one of the meter boxes
  • A smell of fresh grown marijuana (which grew once power was cut to the house and fans in the residence stopped running)
  • The sound of multiple fans inside the residence with no visible air ventilation system on the outside of the house
  • Windows with curtains drawn and boarded shut
  • A backyard covered in debris from a renovation, green planning pots, and large florescent light fixtures
  • Ring door cameras
  • A small path in the woods that ended in a pile of used potting soil and roots and stalks of freshly harvested marijuana plants

Additionally, Eversource reported that the monthly electric bill for 72 Jackson Road was approximately $10,000 per month, much higher than the average homeowner’s bill.

The individuals on the property were questioned and ultimately allowed to leave. On July 31, 2020, Massachusetts State Police, including the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, and a member of the DEA arrived at 72 Jackson Road to execute a search warrant. While inside the residence they discovered rooms with marijuana plants, growing supplies, hydroponic chemicals and cultivation tools, water troughs and pumps, florescent growing lights, and sleeping and cooking areas for people living in the house. The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing conducted an overhead search of the property. The aerial search did not uncover any further evidence.

After searching the house, law enforcement recovered 1,410 marijuana plants which weighed a total of 560 pounds. Evidence recovered from the house also included personally identifying information for multiple individuals including Mai Yebin and Dem Wu.

Based on the evidence, law enforcement determined 72 Jackson Road was being used a marijuana growing facility.

District Attorney Shugrue stated, “People who live in remote, smaller towns in the Berkshires often do so to be surrounded by nature and privacy. To have a marijuana grow operation in a small town like Savory, with unsuspecting neighbors, can feel scary and threatening. Law enforcements swift actions and investigation allowed for a peaceful resolution to shutting down the illegal drug operation.”

District Attorney Shugrue thanks law enforcement and Attorney Winston for their dedication and thorough investigation into the case.

Prior to District Attorney Shugrue’s term, District Attorney Andrea Harrington (2018-2022) offered both Mai and Wu a plea deal to which they refused. When District Attorney Shugrue’s term began both Mai and Wu requested the plea deal that they were offered under the prior administration. District Attorney Shugrue determined that the plea deal offered under the prior administration was not sufficient for the seriousness of the crimes committed; therefore, the Commonwealth moved forward with a trial.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Winston Represented the Commonwealth. James Hall of the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office oversaw media evidence throughout the trial. Judy Lenihan and Tara Jones-Nutting served as Victim Witness Advocates on behalf of the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office. Law enforcement involved in the case included the Massachusetts State Police Cheshire Barricks, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, the State Police Narcotics Unit, the State Police Air Wing, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Police Detective Unit assigned the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.

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