Christopher “Dudus” Coke has been sentenced after being found guilty in a Manhattan court. 23 years in prison, exactly what the prosecutors in the case were asking for. See the story below.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Archive for the ‘Drugs’ Category
Posted by shadmia on June 9, 2012
Posted by shadmia on September 4, 2011
Jamaica, the country that brought the world such sportsmen like Usain Bolt and entertainers like Bob Marley also has a dark side. That dark side is represented by Christopher “Dudus” Coke.
In August 2009 the U.S. issued an international warrant seeking the extradition of Christopher Coke from Jamaica to face gun and drugs charges in the U.S. He was accused of being the leader and mastermind behind the notorious “Shower Posse” gang which was involved in the international trafficking of drugs and firearms.
For a long time the government of Jamaica resisted the request but finally, bowing to domestic and international political pressure, moved to arrest Mr. Coke in his neighborhood known as Tivoli Gardens.
The residents of Tivoli Gardens were fiercely loyal to Mr. Coke and when the police and army moved in to execute the warrant they met stiff resistance. The residents erected barricades and engaged in gun battles. The confrontation resulted in the deaths of more than 70 people and substantial property damage as the armed forces went door to door in search of Mr. Coke. In the end Christopher Dudus Coke was captured.
In June 2010 he was extradited to the U.S. to face the charges.
On Sept. 2, 2011 Dudus pleaded guilty in a New York court to assault and racketeering charges bringing to an end a two-year international drama between Jamaica and the United States.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 8, 2011 and Christopher “Dudus” Coke faces a possible 23 years in prison.
As noted in the Jamaican Gleaner, the capture and eventual incarceration of Coke was hampered by political considerations. He was not only generous to the people of his neighborhood, Tivoli Gardens, but could be depended on by the political party, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to deliver the votes at election time. In fact Tivoli Gardens is the seat in Parliament of the current Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, who was reluctant to issue the arrest warrant in the first place.
Christopher Coke personifies the kind of threat to the security and democracy of small and vulnerable countries like Jamaica. Control of large amounts of resources, illicitly derived notwithstanding, endow gangsters with the capacity to corrupt the political process and to control many levers of the State by proxy. Indeed, Coke’s activities – and the criminal machinations of others – were an open secret in Jamaica.
The newspaper also noted that perhaps Jamaica owes a debt of gratitude to the U.S. for pursuing Christopher Coke, since murders and serious crime have plummeted since his capture and it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for the Jamaican authorities to have him tried and convicted locally.
However, given Coke’s political and community connections, underpinned by his ability to distribute largesse and corral votes, it is likely that he would not have been arrested and prosecuted in Jamaica. Such an eventuality would have been made more difficult by the political fault lines in Jamaica.
Christopher Dudus Coke had previously been charged with offenses that carried a sentence of life in prison. When prosecutors approached him and said that they also had evidence that he had ordered the deaths of at least five persons and a judge ruled that tapes of bugged phone calls in which he discusses smuggling marijuana, cocaine and weapons could be played in court, Coke decided to plead guilty to the lesser charges of Conspiracy to racketeer and Conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering.
Coke stood up in court and said:
“I ordered the purchase of firearms and the importation of those firearms into Jamaica in furtherance of this conspiracy”
When asked about his plea Coke said:
“I’m pleading guilty because I am guilty”
US Attorney Preet Bharara said:
“For nearly two decades, Christopher Coke led a ruthless criminal enterprise that used fear, force and intimidation to support its drug and arms trafficking ‘businesses’.
“Today’s plea is a welcome conclusion to this ugly chapter.”
Posted by shadmia on June 6, 2011
Should never piss off your relatives. They know where the pot is.
When Los Angeles deputies responded to a burglary-in-progress call in El Monte, they had no idea they’d be stumbling across one of the biggest marijuana grow houses in the city’s history. On Saturday morning, four men and a teen boy were caught trying to break in to what seemed to be an abandoned warehouse on Continental Avenue. Instead of guns or other weapons, the thieves were armed with gloves and clippers.
One of the robbery suspects told the police that the abandoned warehouse was actually a grow house belonging to his family, who was cutting him out of the profits. He had wrangled four friends to help him claim his share.
After obtaining a search warrant, El Monte police entered the warehouse to carry out what is being touted as “the biggest drug bust in El Monte history.” What they found inside was over 3,000 marijuana plants valued at around $1 million.
Benjamin Kwok, 37, of San Gabriel, Xing Xi He, 24, of Baldwin Park, Louie Frank Fraijo, 28, also of Baldwin Park, Raymond Guan, 29, of Rosemead and a 17-year-old boy from San Gabriel were all arrested and booked for commercial burglary.
Posted in Drugs, Marijuana, news, Our World | Tagged: Benjamin Kwok, Burglary, Cannabis, Crime, Drugs, El Monte California, Grow house, Louie Frank Fraijo, Marijuana, Raymond Guan, Xing Xi He | 1 Comment »
Posted by shadmia on June 26, 2010
Christopher Dudus Coke: Arrives in the US
Click below for the latest
Posted by shadmia on May 22, 2010
Christopher Dudus Coke: Extradition Approved!
Posted by shadmia on October 31, 2009
Christopher “Dudus” Coke, 40, a Jamaican national, is wanted by the US authorities on a number of drug and weapon offenses. See the story here.
The U.S. has officially asked the Jamaican government to hand him over to face those charges and has complained about the tardiness on the part of Jamaican government to do so. See the extradition request here.
“The U.S. government is looking forward to the Jamaican government respecting their obligations under the treaty,” Patricia Attkisson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, said.
Acknowledging the request for Christopher Dudus Coke’s extradition, a Jamaican official responded:
“The Government has been notified and discussions are taking place. It is principally the prerogative of the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office”, Foreign Affairs Minister Kenneth Baugh said.
Coke’s lawyer, Tom Tavares-Finson, said he had not seen any paperwork and did not know why the U.S. was interested in his client. He claimed that Coke had no connections with the United States and was also not sure if his client would turn himself in voluntarily.
“We’re waiting to hear what the decision is,” said Tavares-Finson, who has dismissed the U.S. charges as “hype.”
According to reports, Coke is the alleged leader of the “Shower Posse” gang. He is charged in the U.S. Southern District of New York with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and conspiracy to illegally traffic in firearms. Coke faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. Under the Extradition Treaty, accused persons do not have to sell illicit drugs in the United States to be convicted in that country. See a report in the Jamaican newspaper the Jamaica Gleaner concerning the U.S.- Jamaican Extradition Treaty.
Christopher Coke is not only politically well-connected to the governing party in Jamaica, the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party), he is also the recognized leader of his community of Tivoli Gardens in downtown Kingston. His influence stretches across the entire island of Jamaica and overseas to the U.S. and England. His extradition to the U.S. would likely have huge ramifications among his followers and his community.
Another Jamaican newspaper, the Jamaica Observer gives this perspective on Coke, as well as some background information. His aliases include Dudus, President and Shortman:
“He is the leading figure among JLP garrisons and many leaders in those communities report to him. He is tremendously powerful and is feared by friends and foes alike”
According to an article in Jamaicaviews.com, there could be social unrest if Coke was to be extradited. He has the legitimacy that the government can only envy among the urban poor. A Caribbean scholar with knowledge of the workings of inner-city communities across the region put it this way:
“For the people, legitimacy in the Government stops at Carib 5 cinema (in Cross Roads). From that point down, he (Dudus) is more legitimate than the Government. He has a monopoly of force and consensual power because he has legitimacy that the Government of Jamaica cannot even dream to have where the urban poor is concerned.”
“What does a government do when they have created a government within a government? What do they now do when they have to hand up this government to another government?” he asked. “He (Dudus) can get kids to be off the street at 8:30 pm. The Government does not even have the power to scratch anybody’s hair much more to do something like that. People feel safer in Tivoli Gardens than anywhere else. It is the safest garrison. This is touchy. In a country that barely understands order, you have found somebody to provide order in the midst of chaos because downtown is chaos. What do you do with him?”
The government in Jamaica is under pressure to respond to the U.S. request for extradition from the opposition party the PNP (People’s National Party). Peter Bunting, Opposition spokesman on national security, claims that the Government’s failure to extradite Tivoli Gardens strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, has caused a stand-off between Washington and Kingston.
Peter Bunting, said in a press statement that the longer the Government took to honor the US request to send Coke to stand trial, the country’s national interests and international reputation was being jeopardized.
“It is completely untrue,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne:
“The Jamaican Government has, indeed, responded through the channels laid down in the Extradition Treaty between Jamaica and the United States and there is ongoing communication between the authorities of both states,” she said in a press statement.
There has also been criticism of Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Bruce Golding. Tivoli Gardens is his constituency and he has mostly been silent on the requested extradition of Christopher Coke. An editorial asked a question that Prime Minister Golding needs to answer clearly and unequivocally:
That question is “whether the Government’s loyalties lie with those who hold that the end justifies the means or the citizens of this country who are committed to order and the rule of law”.
According to Claude Robinson, a journalist with the Jamaica Observer:
All that can be expected of the Prime Minister is a simple and clear statement acknowledging the request and affirming that it will be dealt with in accordance with our democracy and our constitution without regard to the political affiliation of the target of the request. Once that due process is complete, the country will be told the full outcome. That’s all that was expected from the prime minister. He should have delivered.
So the question remains, as it has for over two months now:
Will the Jamaican government hand over Christopher “Dudus” Coke to the U.S. authorities to answer the criminal charges against him?
Posted by shadmia on February 25, 2009
Sergio Manuel Salizar, 24, is in trouble with the Meridian police. Charges of manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and animal cruelty are pending against Salizar, whose address is in the 1100 block of Crestwood Drive, Meridian, ID. What is of more interest, however, is the condition of the house that Salizar apparently owned and lived in by himself.
It would be no stretch at all to call Salizar’s home a disaster zone. The house, which was in default, was going through the foreclosure process. A man who was hired by the mortgage company, paid a visit to the property. He entered the house and discovered several marijuana plants and noticed a smell of deceased, decaying animals. After finding several dead cats in a bathroom, the man called police.
Meridian police joined by the Ada Metro Narcotics Unit responded by obtaining a search warrant and raiding Salizar’s house. When detectives entered the house, they found deplorable conditions. Although it was not The Nastiest Apartment ever discovered, it was pretty bad. Police had to don protective clothing and equipment before entering the house. Here is what they found:
Several kittens had been locked in a bathroom and died of apparent dehydration. A dead Beagle was found decaying inside a pet carrier in the living room. Feces, inches deep, covered the floor in several rooms…….. Detectives also found and seized 70 marijuana plants, approximately ¼ pound of processed marijuana packaged for sale and several items used in the manufacturing operation.
Sergio Manuel Salizar was not at home at the time of the raid and has not been seen since. Detectives have been unable to locate Salizar and are asking the community to help. Anyone who has seen Salizar or who has information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS or www.boiseareacrimestoppers.org or non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790.
Posted by shadmia on February 14, 2009
Bruce D’Amore, 24, wasn’t about to reveal his real name to the Tuxedo police. He had a very good reason. He was wanted in at least 6 jurisdictions in New Jersey and had 15 prior arrests, mostly on burglary charges. So, after giving them two other false names, he settled on calling himself Christopher M. DiMarco, 24, of Newark, N.J. The police were not buying it but it took them two days to find out their captive’s real name.
In any case D’Amore wasn’t going anywhere. He had been captured naked after leading the police in a foot chase through the woods, trying to avoid being arrested for the 32 decks of heroin they had found in his possession.
“He’s a career criminal at 24,” said Tuxedo police Sgt. Patrick Welsh. “We believe we did thwart a burglary.”
D’Amore’s troubles with the Tuxedo police began about 9 p.m. when Sgt. Patrick Welsh noticed a suspicious vehicle off Route 17. He stopped to investigate and found a man sleeping in the passenger’s seat. Under questioning the man claimed to be lost and didn’t know where the driver of the vehicle went. He didn’t even know the driver’s name. Welsh, using his flashlight to scan the woods, discovered someone trying to hide behind a tree.
By this time another officer, Sgt. John Norton, had arrived. Norton attempted to apprehend the man behind the tree and while trying to handcuff him, the suspect elbowed Norton in the face and started to run.
Welsh grabbed at him, and the man’s jacket and sweatshirt came off. Welsh caught and tackled the man, and their momentum carried the pair over the guardrail on Stevens Lane, down an embankment.
As he got up to run away again, the man’s sweatpants came off.
“Now we’re chasing a naked man through the woods,” Welsh said.
Norton caught up to the man, tackled him into a tree and subdued him with pepper spray. They found 32 decks of heroin in the jacket that had come off during the struggle. D’Amore was arrested on assault and drug charges.
Police spent the next two days trying to confirm the identity of D’Amore, who tried unsuccessfully to hang himself in the police department’s lockup. He was sent without bail to Orange County Jail. The passenger, David K. Griffin II, of Hackensack, N.J., was charged with trespassing, a violation. Sgt. John Norton was treated for a cut to the face and a strained back.
Police are still not sure exactly how the men ended up on Stevens Lane, but think they might have gotten lost on a trip to or from Port Jervis.
Posted by shadmia on July 28, 2008
Demetrius McCoy, 18 of Watauga, Texas was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to two charges of injury to a child causing bodily injury. He also pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary of a habitation. He received 8 years on each of the 4 counts all of which to be served concurrently. It was however the charges related to causing bodily injury to a child that were the most shocking.
McCoy and his cousin Vanswan Polty, were arrested in February 2007 after police found a video while executing a search warrant at the Watauga home of McCoy’s grandmother. Police were investigating burglaries that McCoy and Polty are suspected of committing. On the video McCoy was seen giving his two nephews 2 and 5-years-old marijuana to smoke. Below is the video found by the police.
McCoy who reportedly has a 3-month-old daughter, was seen giving his nephews pot, blowing smoke in their faces, calling them “potheads” and joking about them having the “munchies”. When asked about the incident in an interview from jail, McCoy apologized for causing such a firestorm but indicated that he didn’t consider what he did to be a serious crime.
“Some people give their kids alcohol, let them smoke ice, methamphetamines. Weed ain’t going to kill them,” he said.
Watauga Department of Public Safety Director Bruce Ure took the incident very seriously and said the teens encouraged the two young boys to smoke a marijuana cigar. Investigators were appalled as they watched the tape.
“You’re watching a crime in progress,” Mr. Ure said. “This is their uncle, and he’s encouraging them. They were so willing to go along, to please their uncle. Encouraging a 2-year-old who is clearly a baby – it’s a baby, and they think it’s funny watching him impaired.”
In an attempt to minimize his own actions, he said he doesn’t believe he is the first to expose the boys to the illegal drug and besides “They wasn’t even high,” Mr. McCoy said. “They didn’t even inhale it right.” He said that even if he hadn’t giving his nephews the pot to smoke “the youngsters would have eventually smoked the drug anyway.”
In exchange for the eight-year sentence, McCoy must also testify against his co-defendant, Vanswan Polty, officials said. If McCoy had been convicted at trial, he would have faced up to 10 years in prison. Vanswan Polty, 19, remains in the Tarrant County Jail awaiting trial. He faces two charges of injury to a child, three charges of burglary of a habitation and one charge of failing to identify himself to a peace officer.
“I think Mr. McCoy recognized that a Tarrant County jury was not going to stand for his behavior, and he did the proper thing by taking responsibility for his actions,” said prosecutor Darrell Davila, who handled the case with Leticia Martinez.
McCoy was represented by defense lawyer Ruben Gonzalez Jr.:
“My client accepted his responsibility,” Gonzalez said. “His family has suffered terribly, and it is something he will have to live with.”
Shatorria Russell, the children’s mother, has said she was asleep in another room in the home, which she shared with her children, grandmother and McCoy when the children smoked marijuana. Child Protective Services removed the children from the home shortly after McCoy’s arrest, and Russell relinquished her parental rights to the state. The children are living with a foster family and are awaiting adoption, CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said.
Posted by shadmia on May 9, 2008
Authorities have identified two students as major players in a drug ring operating at SDSU. They are Kenneth Ciaccio, 19, and Thomas Watanapun, 21. They were both arraigned and pleaded not guilty to drug charges in Superior Court Thursday. Kenneth Ciaccio was “a major source of supply on campus” and Thomas Watanapun was “a major source of anything” including cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy tablets, Deputy District Attorney Shawn Tafreshi told Judge David M. Szumowski.
Kenneth Ciaccio, 19, bragged to undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agents in early April that he could get them over a quarter-pound of cocaine after selling them smaller quantities in two separate transactions, Tafreshi said.
Ciaccio sent a text message to agents suggesting they buy drugs soon because he and his associates were taking a trip to Las Vegas, the prosecutor said. The message listed the prices for drugs. On his return from Las Vegas, he sent agents another text message saying “I’m back in town and I hope to hear from you soon. I’m going to hook you guys up.”
Ciaccio’s lawyer, Michael Messina, said outside the courtroom that Ciaccio has wrongly been characterized as “a kingpin” in the SDSU drug deals.
“My client is not a major player in this particular enterprise,” Messina said. “He comes from a good home, a good family … unfortunately he appears to have made some mistakes.”
The judge ordered Ciaccio held in jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. If convicted, Ciaccio faces more than 6 years in prison.
Watanapun, 21, provided a half-ounce of cocaine which another student – who was arrested as part of the SDSU drug ring – sold to agents, Tafreshi told the judge. He was also accused of dealing other drugs including Ecstasy, from a university parking lot across the street from Fraternity Row. He made no effort to conceal the cash he made from dealing, driving directly from one deal to a bank to deposit $400. Agents also found drugs in Watanapun’s room, the prosecutor said.
Watanapun’s lawyer, Nathan Aguilar, told the judge that Watanapun was “an exemplary student” with a grade point average above 3.0. He said Watanapun was a victim of “peer pressure and poor judgment.”
The judge ordered Watanapun held on $25,000 bail. If convicted Watanapun faces more than 5 years behind bars.
Jarrod Skippon and Joshua Matsuda both 19 were roommates. Skippon went to the university last semester and is not enrolled in the school right now. Matsuda is a freshman at Grossmont College. Prosecutors said that drugs were found in their College-area apartment. Both men pleaded not guilty to drug charges and the judge set their bail at $10,000 each.
Terrance Blackman, 19, an SDSU student, allegedly sold marijuana to a DEA agent on campus.
Aaron Heffernan,19, is accused of selling Ecstasy pills while on campus. Investigators said he was found with 300 pills and marijuana in his campus room.
Samuel Welsh, 18, allegedly sold drugs to undercover agents, telling them it was top-quality cocaine.
Nicolas Delacruz, 22, allegedly set up a meeting outside Cox Arena to make a cocaine deal. “[Delacruz] entered the DEA agents’ vehicle, he tasted the cocaine himself prior to giving it to the agents, and they consummated the sale,” said prosecutor Shawn Tafreshi.
Also arraigned were: Cory Barclay, 18; Chad Frazier, 22; James Dennis Schurr III, 21; Clynton Parsons, 20; and Thomas George Brindley, 20, Chaz Lomack, 22 and Tarek El Hadidi, 21.
They also entered not-guilty pleas and bail was set for each anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000.
Patrick Hawley, 20, was also arraigned. He was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and selling cocaine near the campus, officials said. Hawley, who was an SDSU student at some point during the investigation, sold one-eighth of an ounce of cocaine for $120 to an undercover DEA agent. He often bragged of taking over the drug selling business from another seller, Tafreshi said. Hawley’s bail was set at $75,000.
Omar Castaneda, a 36-year-old Pomona gang member with close ties to some of the Mexican Tijuana drug cartels was also arrested in connection with the SDSU drug bust. Castaneda, who is believed to have been a lead supplier in the drug trafficking, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment. His bail was set at $150,000 in connection with the drug charges and his immigration status is also being checked.
“Castaneda was one of the main sources of supply for some of the dealers on the campus,” said Damon Mosler, narcotics division chief for the District Attorney.
The violent Tijuana drug cartel also known as the Arellano-Felix organization (AFO) has a firm and deadly hold on all drug trafficking activities in Baja and San Diego California. Their reach controls drug smuggling in Sinaloa, Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas and Baja, and has strong links to San Diego, California. The AFO dispenses an estimated $1 million weekly in bribes to Mexican officials, police and Mexican army officers and maintains its own-well armed, trained, paramilitary security force.
The DEA considers the AFO the most violent and aggressive of the Mexican border cartels. Here is the DEA‘s background profile on the AFO and its leaders.
Posted in Drugs, Illegal Drugs, news, Our World, Schools | Tagged: Aaron Heffernan, DEA, Drug Bust, Jarrod Skippon, Joshua Matsuda, Joshua Natsuda, Kenneth Ciaccio, Michael Montoya, Nicolas Delacruz, Omar Castaneda, Operation Sudden Fall, Patrick Hawley, Samuel Welsh, SDSU, Terrance Blackman, Thomas Watanapun | Leave a Comment »