Difficulties Arise in Extradition of Christopher Coke to the U.S. From Jamaica

Christopher Coke, the Jamaican man accused of running a large scale drug trafficking operation from Kingston, Jamaica, is now facing extradition to the United States. According to U.S. authorities, proceeds from this operation have been used to funnel guns and cash from the United States back to Jamaica.

Mr. Coke is considered to be an influential player in Jamaican politics. As such, it is believed that U.S. attempts extradite him have strained relations between the United States and Jamaica.

Jamaica frequently extradites criminal suspects to the United States.  However, the United States’ efforts to extradite Mr. Coke have created a dilemma for the Jamaica’s governing party. This is due to the Jamaican government’s contention that the U.S. extradition request is flawed as a result of wiretapping by Jamaican authorities which served as the basis for the indictment. According to the Jamaican government this evidence was provided to U.S. authorities without proper approval. The Jamaica government has even gone as far as to request that U.S. officials name the officer who provided them with the wiretapping evidence so they can charge him.

Mr. Coke’s legal situation is similar to a case involving his father, Lester Coke. The older Coke is often thought of as the leader of the Shower Posse, which was accused of trafficking in drugs and murder in the 1980s. The United States attempted to extradite Lester Coke on narcotics and murder charges, however he died in a prison fire in 1992.

According to the extradition treaty between the United States and Jamaica, the two countries have agreed to extradite to each other, “persons whom the competent authorities in the Requesting State have charged with an extraditable offense committed within its territory, or persons who have been convicted in the Requesting State of such an offense and are unlawfully at large.”

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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