His extradition occurred two days after he was taken into custody in Jamaica and several hours after he had waived his right to an extradition hearing in Jamaica. Coke arrived at about 7 p.m. at White Plains-Westchester County Airport outside New York City.
As a phalanx of armed Drug Enforcement Administration agents and U.S. marshals paraded him in front of about a dozen reporters to a silver SUV outside the terminal, Coke — dressed in a blue open-necked shirt and black pants, his hands cuffed behind his back — appeared subdued, a smirk on his face.
“I love the people of Jamaica,” he said in response to a question from a Jamaican reporter.
A DEA agent said he was to be taken to New York City and arraigned Friday in federal court in Manhattan.
Prior to his departure from Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, he said in a statement that he had made the decision to waive his right to an extradition hearing of his own free will, and did so “even though I am of the belief that my case would have been successfully argued in the courts of Jamaica.”
According to a superseding indictment filed in Manhattan federal court, Coke has led a criminal organization known as the “Shower Posse” since the early 1990s, with members in the United States, Jamaica and other countries.
“At Coke’s direction and under his protection, members of his criminal organization sold marijuana and crack cocaine in the New York area and elsewhere, and sent the narcotics proceeds back to Coke and his co-conspirators,” the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.
“Coke and his co-conspirators also armed their organization with illegally trafficked firearms,” the statement said.