Jamaican drug lord Coke pleads not guilty

Last Updated: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 13:23

New York: Jamaican drug lord Christopher
Coke, who allegedly sold cocaine and marijuana by the tonne in
New York, was produced at a court here today to face narcotics
and gun trafficking charges, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Coke (42), who arrived for a trial in a Manhattan Federal
Court, has been accused of flooding the East Coast with
narcotics and guns. He faces charges of running a gun and drug
ring that sold massive amounts of crack cocaine and marijuana
in The Bronx and in Queens, according to the American media.

The authorities were able to nab him after a month-long
manhunt that left over 76 people dead, government figures say.

Since at least 1994, he allegedly sold drugs here and
used the profits to buy guns and other goods that were shipped
back to Jamaica.

"Coke`s access to firearms, as well as cash, serves to
support and increase his authority and power in Kingston,
Jamaica and elsewhere," said the court indictment as reported
by the New York Post.

After his arrest, Coke released a statement saying his
going to the US would "go some way towards healing all who
have suffered and will be of benefit to the community of
Tivoli Gardens". This is the area in Kingston where his
supporters engaged in a two-week long gun battle to protect
him.

"Above all, I am deeply upset and saddened by the
unnecessary loss of lives which could have been avoided, be it
of members of the Security Forces or the over 80 residents of
Tivoli," he said.

Cops say Coke has a reputation for distributing some of
his ill-gotten gains to residents of the Outside. More than a
dozen local relatives chanted "He`s a Robin Hood! He`s a Robin
Hood!" outside the court house today, the NY Daily news said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 13:23

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