Sarasota awoke this morning to the stunning news that the revered Amish grandmother "Queen of Pies", 104-year old Amanda Yoder, was arrested overnight at her exclusive Longboat Key compound by Federal drug enforcement agents. Grandma Yoder, known to her legion of fiercely loyal customers as the humble and unassuming old woman who greeted them at the Yoder's Family Restaurant in the Amish/Mennonite section of Sarasota known as Pinecraft.
But things are not always as they appear, especially in this town.
Grandma Yoder always said that her pies drew people from all over the Suncoast because of their wholesome goodness, fresh fillings, no preservatives and the secret ingredient in her pie crusts that she would never divulge.
"She turned hundreds of innocent people into drug addicts," said one DEA agent. "I always wondered why all those people would line up at 4:00 in the morning to get those pies. Now, we know."
It also seems that "Grandma" Yoder herself is not all she seems to be, either. In fact, she's more--much more.
Amanda Yoder, seen in the photo below as agents burst into her posh penthouse condo, is not the kindly old grandma that everyone has come to recognize. Known inside the Yoder family as "Roxy," Mrs. Yoder has a decidedly harder edge when she's away from the public's eye.
Yoder cursed and shouted at reporters as she was led away in handcuffs and leg shackles to a waiting SUV. "You got nothin' on me! You hear me--NOTHIN'! I'll be outta here by this afternoon. I'm lawyered up, bitches!"
Authorities also arrested Mrs. Yoder's husband, Levi, along with the pair's twin sons, Levon and Levoff, pictured below:
Outgoing Florida Attorney General, Bill McCollum, told reporters "nailing this bunch was the highlight of my career. If I could have pulled it off sooner, Florida voters would have elected me as their governor. Chrome-dome Scott would be back stealing Medicare funds and I'd be the one planning the obscenely-expensive, corporate-funded, multi-million dollar inauguration party instead of him."
Privately, law enforcement officials concede that the Yoder pie scheme will have little impact on the daily operation of the Amish Mafia, known as the Bruderhof or Brotherhood. "We may have yanked out one hair of the beard, but there are still lots of whiskers on that chin," said one DEA official.
On a side note, when news of the arrest reached Food Channel personality, Adam Richman, he was not surprised. "I filmed a segment of Man Vs. Food with the Yoders about a year ago. She took me into the kitchen where I was shocked to see scores of young Oriental girls wearing surgical masks preparing the pie crusts. Grandma Yoder said she was just "bug conscious. I never would have guessed she was putting booger sugar in those pies."
"Then, later, when we did the bit sitting at the table talking about her pies, she kept grabbing my leg under the table. It struck me as kind of un-grandma like, but I didn't think much about it at the time. TV makes people do all kinds of strange things........."