Fern Whyte, Gleaner Correspondent
MANHATTAN, New York:
It was a thinner-than-usual Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke who appeared in handcuffs in the United States Southern District Court in Lower Manhattan this morning to hear his one-time lieutenant Jermaine ‘Cowboy’ Cohen tender explosive evidence against him.
‘Cowboy’ was the first witness on the stand to be called by the prosecution.
He testified that Dudus had more than 200 ‘soldiers’ whose job it was to “serve and protect”.
Cohen testified that each ‘soldier’ was armed with an AK-47, an M-16, or a hand gun and was ordered to go out and kill and rob and bring back the loot to Coke’s West Kingston enclave of Tivoli Gardens where the proceeds would be shared.
Cohen, who is now in the Orange County Jail for illegal entry into the United States, is facing 50 years to life in prison for murder, gun and drug charges.
Last August, Coke accepted a plea agreement in which he confessed to racketeering, conspiracy and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering in the United States.
United States prosecutors are seeking to have the confessed crime lord sent to prison for 23 years.
But Judge Robert P Patterson wants to hear from the witnesses before deciding if Dudus should face the maximum sentence.
This afternoon another prosecution witness Anthony Brown will testify.
The evidentiary hearing is expected to end tomorrow but it is not clear when the judge will hand down his sentence.