Vivian Blake back in Jamaica

Published: Friday | January 30, 2009

Petrina Francis and Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writers

Reputed Shower Posse leader Vivian Blake leaving the Central Police Station yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

VIVIAN BLAKE, reputed leader of the notorious Shower Posse gang, returned to Jamaica yesterday. The 53-year-old Blake arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport about 12:20 p.m. after being deported from the United States.

Blake was sentenced to 28 years in Federal prison in June 2000 in a Miami Federal Court. He had been indicted there 12 years earlier but American authorities said he fled to Jamaica, by boarding a cruise ship in Miami, where he remained free until his arrest in 1994.

Dressed in a black suit and a white shirt, Blake was transported from the airport to the CIB headquarters, downtown Kingston, where he was processed and released.

Blake told reporters that he felt "great" being back home.

"At least I come to see my family," he told The Gleaner/Power 106 News.

He said the first thing that he will do is to go and visit his daughter.

"I am going to see my daughter Dominique, I waan kiss her," he said.

Asked if he had any regrets, Blake replied, "about what?".

Tinted vehicle

Blake was whisked away in a tinted vehicle, driven by his attorney George Soutar.

More than 30 persons who supported Blake converged outside the CIB headquarters and when the vehicle that was transporting him drove out, they shouted his name.

One woman who walked behind the vehicle as it drove along East Queen Street yelled "Vivian Mi fren".

He and other members of the Shower Posse were given lengthy sentences based on 52 charges brought by Federal prosecutors. These included racketeering, smuggling and distributing marijuana and cocaine from the Bahamas through the United States.

The Shower Posse, which was strong supporter of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), was also implicated in over 1,000 murders in the US. The 'Feds' said the Posse members operated lucrative illegal drug rings in Miami, New York City, Philadelphia and Virginia.

Football scholarship

Blake was raised in West Kingston, a constituency that has backed the JLP in general elections since the 1960s. He attended St George's College where he passed three GCE subjects, but went to the US in 1972 on a football scholarship.

He was one of the Shower Posse's founders, reportedly ruling it with an iron hand. They were regarded as one of America's most dangerous gangs during the 1980s when the narcotics trade was booming in that country's urban centres.

The Shower Posse's rise and fall is chronicled in The Shower Posse: The Most Notorious Jamaican Crime Organisation, a 2003 book written by Blake's son Duane.

The gang's story was also told on Black Entertainment Television's critically acclaimed documentary series, American Gangster, last year.