Dudus faces fate
Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, once the most feared underworld enforcer in Jamaica, is to appear in a United States (US) court today faced with the prospect of spending more than 20 years in prison.
Since pleading guilty to conspiracy and racketeering charges in August 2011, Coke has had to wait almost seven months to hear his fate.
Initially, he was scheduled to be sentenced on December 8, 2011 but the court agreed that more time was needed and the sentencing date was shifted to January 17 this year.
Days before that sentencing, Coke’s lawyers requested a further delay to February 28 and later sought time to respond to a hard-hitting submission by the prosecutors, causing a third postponement of the sentencing.
But with all the motions filed and the arguments made, today is D-Day for the man whose word was once law in his west Kingston enclave and as far away as New York.
Coke looked a broken, if not comical figure, when he was captured by local police in June 2010.
While the man slated to appear in the United States Southern District Court of New York today will not be wearing the woman’s wig he was arrested in, he will be more that broken figure than the enforcer whose name was enough to make grown men quake.
Over the almost 21 months that he has been in custody in the US, Coke and his lawyers have pleaded with judge Robert P. Patterson to show mercy in his sentencing.
“Good day to you, sir. I am humbly asking if you could be lenient on me,” Coke said in a seven-page handwritten letter to Patterson, shortly after he entered the guilty plea.
“I implemented a lot of social programmes for the residents of my community – programmes that teach them about self-empowerment,” Coke wrote as he pointed to the good deeds he had reportedly done in west Kingston, and Tivoli Gardens in particular.