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After 70 Deaths, Drug Suspect Remains in Jamaica

After 70 Deaths, Drug Suspect Remains in Jamaica

Christopher "Dudus" Coke

Associated Press

May 29, 2010

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A Jamaican don sought in a major military operation is believed to still be on the island but his whereabouts remain a mystery, the country’s police chief said Friday.

Jamaican police and soldiers have killed 73 people since Sunday in an effort to capture Christopher “Dudus” Coke, a powerful leader in the Kingston slums who is sought by the United States on drug trafficking charges.

“The best intelligence we have is that Coke is still within the jurisdiction,” Jamaica Constabulary Force commissioner Owen Ellington told a news conference.

The failure to find Coke has fuelled conspiracy theories among some Jamaicans, ranging from the druglord having escaped the island to having used his political connections to find a safehouse.

Ellington also said police wanted to find Coke alive. Coke’s father and underworld predecessor, Jim Brown, died in a mysterious fire in custody in 1991, raising suspicions he was killed so as not to reveal secret information.

“We do not issue shoot-to-kill orders,” Ellington said.

“Our modus operandi is to arrest Mr Coke on the warrant and bring him before a court of justice in Jamaica” to be extradited, he added.

US prosecutors accuse Coke and his “Shower Posse” of funneling a steady supply of cocaine and marijuana into New York and other eastern US cities, causing gangland conflicts that have left thousands dead.

If extradited and convicted, Coke faces life in prison.

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