Wednesday 12 August, 2020

J’can witness against Dudus granted bail in US amid deportation fight

The undocumented Jamaican informant who goes by the name ‘Sean B’, who provided the United States authorities with information that helped to bring down then Tivoli Gardens strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, and who is now fighting deportation from the US, has been granted bail.

Attorneys for Sean B, who court documents say was known by the name ‘Cowboy’ inside the notorious Shower Posse which Coke reportedly headed, have welcomed the development, the New York Daily News has reported.

Sean B, a convicted drug dealer, was offered bail in the sum of US$25,000, which one of his attorneys, Craig Relles, described as “prohibitive”. Relles said he was uncertain that the Sean B’s family can make the bond.

In order for him to be released, the amount must be paid in full to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

According to the newspaper report, immigration judge Margaret Kolbe ruled during a hearing last week, that Sean B can be released while he fights deportation.

“While the court acknowledges that there is a serious criminal history here, it has also been presented evidence that he has significant ties here in the United States, and that he has significantly assisted law enforcement," Kolbe said.

The judge added that “While this does not necessarily undermine the seriousness of his past history, the court does not have to put blinders on to not see that his period of co-operation does somewhat counteract his past serious criminal history in terms of current dangerousness.”

In 2009, Sean B pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and began co-operating with US authorities after he was arrested for entering the US illegally for a third time.

He was set to give evidence at Coke’s drug trafficking trial in 2010 after Coke waived his rights to an extradition hearing in Jamaica and was flown to the US that June.

However, Coke pleaded guilty to trafficking more than three tonnes of marijuana and 30 pounds of cocaine into the US, and avoided trial. He was subsequently sentenced to 23 years in a federal prison.

The news reports out of the US are that Sean B’s decision to co-operate with US authorities in the case against Coke has left him marked for death in Jamaica.

An attempt was reportedly made on his life when he was flown to Jamaica by members of the ICE team in May of this year, and he was quickly flown back to the US after the intervention of his lawyers.

It is not clear why he was taken into custody by ICE in January for deportation to Jamaica after he was previously allowed to live and work in the US.

In a previous report in the New York Daily News, Sean B was quoted as saying in a sworn statement: “If I return to Jamaica, I am dead as soon as I get off the plane. I testified against one of the most powerful men in Jamaica.

“Being a snitch in Jamaica is one of the worst things you can do, and I am branded as one for the rest of my life. I will be killed in Jamaica if I return.”

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