Drug case court documents describe Coffee Zone owner's criminal history

Posted on 22 February 2018 at 1:28am
Story image: Drug case court documents describe Coffee Zone owner's criminal history

COLUMBIA - Federal court documents filed Tuesday give details into the past of Coffee Zone's owner. This comes after police arrested 48-year-old Osama Yanis and his 23-year-old son, Nader Yanis, accusing the pair of trafficking drugs hidden in a shipment of filters. 

Osama Yanis faces federal charges including possession of marijuana to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crime. According to court documents filed by the FBI, Osama told detectives he had the gun to protect himself after the homicide of Augustus Roberts at the Old Hawthorne neighborhood. Columbia police stated Roberts' death was drug-related.

Last week, according to the FBI, detectives in Nashville found approximately 50 pounds of marijuana in one shipment and 72 pounds of marijuana in another shipment. Columbia police brought the marijuana back to the city so they could make a "controlled delivery."

After watching the delivery, the officers used a search warrant to look at the shipment and anything related to the drop-off. They later found 33 additional pounds hidden inside his home inside a bedroom closet and the HVAC closet. They also found approximately $72,000 inside his house. 

Court documents related to the prosecution's attempt to hold him until trial also show two Rock Bridge High School students accused Osama Yanis of sexual assault in 2013, and though they described the incident in detail to officers, they wanted to remain anonymous because "the defendant was a dangerous man." No charges were filed in that case. He was also accused of assaulting a Gentry Middle School student in 2010; charges were filed and later dismissed. He also got in trouble for a DWI in 2017 and for pointing a shotgun at two people in the 800 block of Broadway in 2016. 

The drug trafficking case is still being investigated by the FBI, Columbia Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Yanis has dual citizenship in the U.S. and in Jordan, which prosecutors used as evidence he may be a flight risk. Coffee Zone is located on Ninth Street in downtown Columbia.  As of Wednesday night, the restaurant was still open.