Prime Minister Golding dropped his resistance to Coke's extradition during the week of May 10, 2010, under intense pressure from Jamaica's main political parties, the ruling JLP and the opposition People's National Party, or PNP. On May 17th Golding announced that he would direct his Attorney General to sign an order that would allow Coke's arrest.
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 are heavily armed with an arsenal that includes automatic rifles and hand grenades. Authorities are attempting to confirm reports that the drug gang also has rocket launchers.
Explosions and steady gunfire have been heard throughout Coke's West Kingston neighborhood starting at about noon Monday. On Monday, he told the Jamaican police who are trying to capture him so he can be extradited to the U.S., "I will not surrender," according to U.S. authorities.
Eight police officers were shot, two fatally, during a confrontation near the international airport Sunday night. Four police stations were attacked Sunday, and one was burned to the ground. Jamaica's police commissioner has claimed that gunmen from other Caribbean islands have come to Kingston to aid Coke.
According to a federal indictment issued in New York in 2009, 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.
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 hd 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.
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.