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In the Media

article imageJamaican drug war ends after Coke surrenders to police

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By Kim I. Hartman
Jun 22, 2010 in World
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Kingston - It took over a month for the Jamaican police to end the violence that was destroying their nation following an attempt to arrest drug lord Christopher Coke, a fugitive wanted in the US on multiple drug and weapons charges. Almost 80 died during the war.
The notorious Christopher Dudus Coke surrendered to the Jamaican police yesterday following a month of violent battles that left many dead and hundreds wounded as followers, citizens and gang members of the "Shower Posse", took to the streets putting their own lives at risk to fight for his freedom.
The trouble began in mid-May after the Kingston government approved a US extradition request for Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a reputed gang boss. This set off an instant powder keg of violence in which police were shot and killed trying to defend themselves and the police stations which were allegedly set on fire by supporters of Dudus.
Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher Coke surrendered in Kingston yesterday following one of the bloodiest weeks of this month long manhunt.
The Jamaican Observer reported, the Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke is now being held at a secure location, according to the Police Commissioner Owen Ellington.
Coke was arrested in the company of Reverend Al Miller who said he was taking him to the United States Embassy at Coke's request. They were stopped by police at a road check on Mandela Highway. The police recognised the fugitive, who was being transported to Kingston from out of town.
Coke is wanted by the United States on gun and drug trafficking charges. A $5 million dollar reward was recently placed for information leading to his arrest
The war was started after police and soldiers stormed a Kingston ghetto in an attempt to take the reputed drug don into custody to be extradited to United States where he will face multiple drug dealing and gun charges. He was indicted in the United States last fall for his alleged involvement in a massive drug operation.
Coke faces life in prison on charges of trafficking cocaine, marijuana and weapons. In the island country of Jamaica, Coke is a hero to many. A modern day Robin Hood who shared his wealth with the poverty stricken Jamaican population.
"The charges are another important step in our bringing to justice the world's most dangerous criminals wherever they may be found," Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said when Coke was indicted last year.
Jamaica originally refused to extradite Coke to New York, which caused tensions to escalate between the US and the Jamaican government.
When the President of Jamiaca finally agreed to the extradiction the violence began and all hell broke loose causing officials to declare a state of emergency throughlout Jamaica.
The battle was so fierce and deadly that the US and Canada both issued travel advisories to Jamaica which has slowed the flow of tourists and their monies during the normally busy tourist season. The Jamaican travel industry and it's resort and hotels as well as the employee's depend on the tourists for most of their yearly income and profits.
The killing and fighting ended with yesterday's surrender of the infamous drug lord Christopher Dudus Coke. Coke is alleged in the indictments to be the leader of a powerful gun and drug smuggling enterprise that operated from the Jamaican Islands to the state of New York and into Canada.
Jamaican Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said the Tivoli Gardens don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke may be charged for crimes committed locally if the police are able to build a case against him.
He said that "all individuals" would be investigated in relation to the attacks on police that led to the declaration of a State of Emergency on May 24.
"We are investigating all the attacks on our members and our facilities. We are keeping our options open," Ellington said.
The 41-year-old Coke is expected to be flown to New York to face trial on federal drug trafficking and gun running charges.
Coke's quiet surrender ended weeks of gun fighting in the streets around Tivoli Garden. Reports say almost 80 people were killed in the first week of fighting between Jamaican security forces and gunmen loyal to Coke and his Shower Posse.
More information is available on the time line of the deadly violence that plagued the Jamaican police and it's citizens at DigitalJournal.com
Jamaica declares state of emergency
Jamaican drug war continues in firefight with Coke's Shower Posse
article:293744:17::0
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