(Jamaica Gleaner) The New York Times is reporting that federal prosecutors in Manhattan have asked a judge to impose a 23-year prison sentence on confessed Jamaican crime lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.
In August Coke, 42, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy.
He is scheduled to be sentenced next Tuesday in the Federal District Court.
The New York Times says in a sentencing memorandum filed late Wednesday, the office of the United States attorney, Preet Bharara, said that the federal advisory sentencing guidelines that apply in the case involving Coke called for a sentence of slightly less than 22 years to 23 years in prison.
Bharara’s office reportedly wrote in its memorandum to Judge Robert P Patterson Jr that Coke was so powerful in Jamaica, he enjoyed “virtual immunity from the reach of law enforcement” there.
The New York Times further reports that Bharara’s office said Coke led a drug trafficking ring from an armed stronghold called Tivoli Gardens in Kingston, moving guns and drugs between Jamaica and the United States, and ordering murders, shootings and beatings.
“Coke’s soldiers often began their service to him as teenagers, drawn from the community and trained by Coke and his lieutenants to guard the streets of Tivoli Gardens with guns, and to engage in acts of violence at Coke’s direction,” two prosecutors, Jocelyn E Strauber and John T Zach, wrote.
Last September Coke wrote a seven-page letter to Judge Patterson accepting responsibility for his actions and asking the judge to sentence him below the guideline.
Coke has been described as one of the most powerful drug lords in Jamaica. After a nine-month wrangling, he was arrested in June 2010 following a major operation in May to execute a warrant on him.
More than 70 people were killed in the operation.