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Pre-trial hearing for ex-Jamaican cop on US drug charges today

Published:Tuesday | September 2, 2014 | 8:57 AM

A pre-trial hearing is to be held today in the United States, involving a former Jamaican policeman, who was kicked out of the force after being convicted of fraud.

Errol Cliff Richards or ‘Schoolboy Ritchie’, is facing a US court in New York on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and attempt or conspiracy for narcotics importation or exportation.

Court documents show that a sealed indictment was entered in the court on March 20 of this year.

The indictment was unsealed on June 19 when Schoolboy Ritchie and his co-defendant, Ronald Mohammed Noeranie Badloe, waived pre-trial report proceedings.

On June 23, the court gave the prosecutors until July 14 to complete discovery and set today's date for a pre-trial conference.

Schoolboy Ritchie had faced the local court system in 1996 when he, his girlfriend Janice Bernard and then Superintendent of Police Owen Ellington were arrested on a charge of defrauding an insurance company of $450,000.

Ellington was freed on a no-case submission at the end of the Crown’s case on September 10, 1998, while Richards and Bernard were convicted of defrauding the insurance company.

Ellington sued the Government to recover damages for alleged malicious prosecution.

The attorney general contested the lawsuit and Ellington lost.

In July, Ellington shocked the country with his sudden retirement as police commissioner having held that post since 2010.

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