Extradition requests from the American Government for five Jamaicans, among them three prominent faces, are expected to be delivered to local authorities today.
According to a highly placed US Government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Jamaica Observer, two of the wanted men are politicians, one is a veteran entertainer, while the others both conduct regular business at Kingston’s Port Bustamante.
The extradition requests, the official said, are related to the ongoing criminal matter involving reputed drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, who is awaiting sentencing in a United States court, following his admission of guilt in relation to racketeering in the US and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering.
Coke faces a maximum 23 years in prison when he returns to the United States Southern District Court of New York for sentencing on December 8.
He has since written to the presiding district judge, Robert P Patterson, begging for leniency.
US authorities regard Coke, 42, as the head of the US-based ‘Shower Posse’, which earned a reputation for brutally killing opponents during the bloody cocaine wars of the 1980s in the US.
Coke waived his right to an extradition hearing and was sent to the US in June last year, following a month-long, islandwide search for him that began after a deadly battle between the security forces and gunmen loyal to him in his former West Kingston stronghold of Tivoli Gardens in May.
A total of 76 people, including two policemen and a soldier, were killed in the three days of violence that rocked the country.
According to the US Government official, the politicians named in the extradition warrants are believed to have assisted Coke in the importation of various items from the United States, some of which may not have been brought in legally.
The Observer was told that US authorities got critical information on certain persons in Jamaica from Coke, although his legal team has maintained consistently that the former fugitive did not squeal!