Jamaica: shock in Kingston as Dudus Coke cuts deal

Residents of Kington’s poor district of Tivoli Gardens reacted with shock and disbelief to the news that extradited accused drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke arranged a plea bargain this week at Federal District Court in Manhattan. “I’m devastated,” one anonymous member of the Coke clan told the Jamaica Gleaner. Scores were killed in days of street-fighting in the district last year as police and army troops were deployed to hunt down Coke for extradition to the US. But in the end he cut a deal in which he pleaded guilty to trafficking large quantities of marijuana and cocaine, and approving the stabbing of a marijuana dealer in the Bronx in 2007, who apparently survived. Five murder charges that could have landed him life in prison were dropped. Coke faces a maximum term of 23 years; the plea deal does not require him to cooperate or testify on behalf of the government in any proceeding. (NYT, Jamaica Gleaner, Sept. 1)

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