Dudus: Christopher Coke Turned Over to U.S. Officials

Following that announcement, the West Kingston communities allied to Coke began non-violent protests. But even then it was apparent to authorities that Coke's supporters were gearing up for an armed confrontation. They fortified their neighborhood with sandbags, threw up road blocks, installed improvised explosive devices and electrified fencing, all in an effort to block Coke's arrest.

Coke's forces were heavily armed with an arsenal that includes automatic rifles and hand grenades. According to the indictment issued in New York, Coke is alleged to head an international criminal posse known as "The Shower Posse" that operates in Jamaica and the United States. He has been charged by U.S. authorities with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in firearms.

Coke is alleged to have sold crack cocaine and marijuana in the New York area since the 1990s and to equip his gang members with illegally procured weapons.

Coke, aka "Presi," "President," "Dudus," and "Shortman," according to the indictment, is alleged to have sold more than 1000 pounds of pot and at least five kilos of cocaine during the period of the indictment, 1994 through 2007.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE INDICTMENT

Coke's posse allegedly operated out of the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood in West Kingston, which the indictment described as a garrison community, "a barricaded neighborhood guarded by a group of armed gunmen."

The indictment also alleged, however, that the Shower Posse had a presence in "other areas of Jamaica, and in other countries, including the United States." At Coke's direction, Shower Posse members allegedly sent firearms back to Jamaica, which has one of the highest murder rates in the Western Hemisphere.

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Coke's "power and influence," the indictment charged, enabled him to protect his posse as it shipped dope to New York and weapons to Jamaica. Coke's alleged ties to Jamaica's prime minister and ruling party have been a major factor influencing the US inability to extradite him in the past.

Prime Minister Golding was criticized by the political opposition in March for allegedly hiring a lobbying firm in the U.S. to fight the extradition of Coke. Lobbying documents show that the Jamaican government did hire a firm to lobby the U.S. over the treaty dispute. Golding later admitted that he approved the hiring of the firm, but said the effort was on behalf of his political party and not the government.

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