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Drugs kingpin behind bars

This is alleged drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke behind bars at a secret location and facing almost certain extradition to the US.

Coke was arrested by police on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica, ending a manhunt for the fugitive at the centre of last month's deadly raids in the capital.

Coke (42) is wanted for extradition to the US on drug and gun trafficking charges. Police said they arrested him without violence at a road checkpoint in the Portmore area of St Catherine parish.

Seventy-six people were killed in four days of gun battles last month when police and soldiers stormed the Tivoli Gardens neighbourhood in west Kingston in an attempt to take Coke in to custody.



shower

"He appeared to be physically well and we will be preparing him to face the court as soon as possible," said Police Commissioner Owen Ellington.

Coke was on his way to surrender at the US Embassy in Kingston when police stopped him at the checkpoint, said a minister who was with him.

"The police searched the vehicle that I was in and they recognised him and held him," the Reverend Al Miller said.

Rev Miller said Coke asked for his help in arranging the surrender at the embassy because he did not trust the police not to harm him if he surrendered to them. "He also wanted to waive his right to an extradition hearing so that he could go to the US for a trial," said Rev Miller.

US prosecutors described Coke as the current leader of the "Shower Posse" that murdered hundreds of people during the cocaine wars of the 1980s. Coke commanded a private militia and his supporters burned down two police stations and shot up four others in an attempt to prevent Coke's extradition during attacks that preceded last month's raids. Mr Ellington lauded his men for the capture and urged them to be alert to threats from those sympathetic to Coke.

Mr Ellington said he was uncertain whether Coke would be charged in Jamaica in connection with the deaths of two policemen and a soldier killed during last month's clashes. "We are investigating all the attacks on our personnel and I am not in a position to make a definitive statement on that matter as yet," Mr Ellington said.

He said the circumstances of Coke's capture were under investigation.

hnews@herald.ie


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