HomeNewsBriefJamaican Drug Lord 'Dudus' Coke Asks For Leniency
BRIEF

Jamaican Drug Lord 'Dudus' Coke Asks For Leniency

CARIBBEAN / 22 SEP 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

A handwritten letter sent from Jamaican druglord Christopher "Dudus" Coke to his trial judge, asking for leniency, offers some unique insights into the psyche of a major crime kingpin.

On September 7, Coke sent a letter to Judge Robert P. Patterson Jr. asking for leniency, a copy of which was recently published by the New York Times.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the letter is its lack of any apology for his actions. Coke does not admit to any of the charges against him, or express regret, but merely relays his hopes for a reduced sentence. "I am humbly pleading for leniency and for your discretion,” Coke writes. “If it is possible for you to sentence me below the guideline range or if you could run my sentence concurrent, which would be greatly appreciated."

Among the reasons why the judge should reduce his sentence, Coke lists family troubles (his 8-year-old son “is constantly asking for his daddy”) and inhumane treatment (he was "unable to see outside” from his prison cell). Especially telling is his account of his community work in Jamaica. According to him, he was responsible for providing various “charitable deeds and social services” to his community, including an elderly care program, efforts to put “unskilled and skilled unemployed persons” to work, and a program that provided students with school supplies such as backpacks, books and uniforms.

Coke has been fingered as the leader of the Jamaican drug and arms smuggling group known as the Shower Posse, and is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges in a New York state court. Prior to turning himself in to authorities on June 22, 2010, Coke was one of the most successful and well-known drug kingpins in the country. He had been called the “don of dons,” and was regarded by some as the most powerful man in the country.

Indeed, when Jamaican police announced their intention to capture him in May 2010, Coke was able to turn much of Kingston into a virtual fortress. At least 73 people died in the resulting violence between security forces and his supporters in the city.

Such demonstrations of support for crime bosses are not unusual in the drug trafficking business, and social services like the ones Coke describes in his letter are often key to their success. This is modus operandi of drug bosses in Guatemala and the Familia Michoacana in Mexico, who are able to organize entire communities around their business, and sometimes rally protests in support of their leaders.

(Picture, above, shows Coke in the female disguise he was wearing when caught by police.)

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 8 JUL 2022

Haiti’s Customs Agency has seized an extremely large quantity of illegally imported ammunition.

CARIBBEAN / 19 SEP 2022

Dominican officials have banned 12 Haitian gang leaders and one of its top politicians from entering the country.

CARIBBEAN / 30 APR 2022

The arrest of a sitting head of government on drug trafficking charges is almost unheard of.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…