A federal district court judge in Manhattan has jettisoned the sentencing of reputed Jamaican drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, until May.
Judge Robert Patterson, of the Federal Southern District Court of New York, said on Mar. 16 that Coke will be sentenced after he conducts an evidentiary hearing, beginning on May 22, which could last a few days.
Judge Patterson said prosecutors have urged that Coke get the maximum 23 years in prison.
He also said defense lawyers have asked that the prosecution’s request be significantly reduced, claiming that it would be too harsh.
Coke, 38, who pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy and drug-trafficking charges last September, was expected to be sentenced on Friday.
The drug lord was captured in Jamaica in 2010, a month after a bloody siege of his West Kingston stronghold that left more than 70 dead.
Before Friday’s sentencing postponement, Coke pleaded for mercy, claiming he was a “do-gooder” in his Kingston community.
“I implemented a lot of social programs for the residents of my community — programs that teach them about self-empowerment,” he wrote in a seven-page letter.
The court also acknowledged that it received numerous letters of support from Jamaicans, claiming Coke’s “good works.”
But prosecutors, in court papers, described the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood in West Kingston as “a garrison community” patrolled by Coke’s lieutenants.
Prosecutors said anyone who crossed Coke’s path was detained and punished, and that Coke’s gang also used women as mules to transport drugs to the United States.
The court also disclosed that several women abused in Jamaica have written to Judge Patterson asking him to impose the maximum sentence on Coke.