June 24th, 2010
12:56 PM ET

Alleged Jamaican drug lord extradited to U.S.

Christopher "Dudus" Coke has said he won't fight extradition to the U.S. for drug charges.

Christopher "Dudus" Coke, the alleged Jamaican drug kingpin, was put on a plane with U.S. marshals after declining to fight his extradition to the U.S. on Thursday afternoon, according to several sources.

Coke did not contest the extradition, his lawyer said, because he wanted to leave his country immediately and face gun and drug charges in the United States.

Peter Bunting, general secretary of the opposition People's National Party, told CNN in an e-mail stamped 2:30 p.m. ET that Coke was at the airport awaiting to be transported to the United States, and a Jamaican Information Service report said he was flown off the island early in the afternoon. It was not clear to where he would fly, but the indictment against him was handed up in New York.

Coke released a statement through his lawyers saying he made the decision to be extradited despite his belief that he would have been vindicated by Jamaican courts.

"I take this decision for I now believe it to be in the best interest of my family, the community of West Kingston, and in particular, the people of Tivoli Gardens and, above all, Jamaica," the statement said.

He further said he was "deeply upset and saddened" for many Jamaicans, including the security forces who were killed. The situation could have been avoided, Coke said in his statement asking that Jamaicans pray for him.

Regarding concerns that those loyal to Coke would stir up trouble, parliament member Peter Phillips, a former national security minister and senior member of the opposition, said there has been little unrest in West Kingston or Tivoli Gardens because the government declared a state of emergency last month and put troops in the streets.

Things have been quiet in West Kingston because of the “dislocation of the criminal groups that are able to mount some kind of resistance,” he said, referring to the weeks-long violence between government security forces and gunmen alleged to be loyal to Coke.

Affidavits from two confidential informants form the basis for charges that Coke, 41, has pumped cocaine and hundreds of pounds of marijuana into the United States.

One witness quoted in the affidavit said Coke used women to "body-carry," or smuggle internally, the cocaine and travel to New York under the guise of purchasing clothing for their shops in Kingston.

Coke's associates said they also sent him guns packed in refrigerators, according to documents CNN obtained.

Coke, who was known for controlling the impoverished West Kingston enclave of Tivoli Gardens, is likened by experts to both Robin Hood and Pablo Escobar. But comparisons to the hero of Sherwood Forest and the one-time Colombian kingpin are not mutually exclusive.

Coke rules via a combination of violence, corruption and philanthropy, experts say, and unrest in the Jamaican capital resulted from competing interests: those who want him handed over for drug crimes versus those who consider him a benefactor.

The opposition made allegations that the Jamaican government participated in shielding Coke from authorities. The prime minister and other have denied the allegations.

Phillips believes an investigative commission should be appointed to probe whether there was an effort by the ruling Labor Party to “prevent and frustrate the extradition request.” The opposition will call for such a commission, but Phillips said to expect other segments of society to join the opposition’s demand.

Jamaicans deserve to “understand the activities that took place and the apparent conduct of members of government on the political and the administrative side,” Phillips said. “We need to know if there was an attempt to obstruct justice on behalf of the government.”

“There are still questions left to be answered,” he said.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. George Sales

    My family has had a continuous presence in the Caribbean (both Dutch and English islands) since the late seventeenth century. We have witnessed (from the mid nineties forward) the decline of both social and moral structure on even the smallest of islands. This change has been consistent throughout the Caribbean. Thug gangs, hard drugs, violent crime, misogyny and murder are all on the rise. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, recently attended a conference on this issue. Corrupt government and law enforcement officials (on the take) have only exacerbated the problem. U.S. cable television is also the villein here. Gangstra movies can be viewed on any island, 24/7. The island thugs think they are completely immune from prosecution and punishment. Several years ago, a violent drug thug thought he was untouchable on St. Kitts. The British military dropped in and hauled his butt off to prison in Great Briton. That needs to happen more often on all the islands! Perhaps, Dudas Coke's, extradition will again remind these jerks they are not immune or untouchable.

    June 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • albro

      Intersting! The thugs you mention all seem to have similar appearances, but sure dont look Dutch!

      June 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. paul

    YA–DUDUS man-useing all that coke is one thing , but shareing it UNCLE SAM do not like, maybe you offer him a deal he can not refuse,

    June 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Namey namey

    Sum a unuh pon da site yah jus chat tuh much!! Guh learn patois!

    June 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. albro

    Welcome to the USA, dirtbag. We've got a nice little "room" for you, all expenses paid, for a nice long stay!

    June 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. shelley

    If Dudus is guilty he should pay for his crimes, not ganja crime, cocain and guns yes, he is going to sing on those currupt Jamaican politicians, well I am hoping.. I was born in Jamaica, I love that island but I hate those politicians. sing dudus sing.

    June 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bob martin

    why don"t we just legalize all drugs like portugal did, everyone would be alot better off.

    June 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carlos

    All of you are talkinvolved in crap. The man is heavily in cime up to his neck. He is like a law unto himself and the only reason he waived his rights is because of arrogance. he feels that he is too big to defend himself in the Jamaican courts and prefers to go in luxury at the US government's expense. In comparison to the Jamaican prisons it is luxury. he did the crime now he must face the consequences. What about all those people he ordered killed, what about their families? This is not only a drug matter. As far as I am concerned a trial is too much of a decent way to deal with him. The Shower Posse need to be put to bed once and for all. These guys have been raining terror on the society for far too long.

    June 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dawicker

    I certainly glad they got this guy but hopefully at some point we'll get back having a war to stop people from using drugs. I read a post complaining that drugs aren't legal so the government get make money on drugs.

    http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/drug-addiction-blog.html

    June 25, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Gemma

    His main reason for wanting to come here, is because the govenrment in Jamaica is in alliance with what he has done and they want to shut him up-permanently before he's spill the beans to the U.S. All those high heads politicians, businessmen, pastors etc are all in with what he's doing just for the greed of money in lump sums. I wish he would call every name in that conniving and misleading book of theirs.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
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