CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Sept. 9, 2010: Accused Jamaican drug lord, Christopher Michael `Dudus` Coke, has named two new lawyers in his legal battle against U.S. prosecutors.
Coke who appeared in a New York courtroom Tuesday has fired Russell Todd Neufield and replaced him with Frank Doddato and Steve Rosen. Doddato and Rosen bring to four the total number of attorneys who will be representing Coke in his drug charges. The others are Steve Zissou and Elizabeth Macedonio.
The former Tivoli Gardens strongman has pleaded not guilty to gun and drug-trafficking charges. Coke was extradited to the U.S. in June. U.S. prosecutors claim in an indictment that since the early 1990s, Coke has led an international criminal organization known as the Shower Posse, with members in Jamaica, the US and other countries.
They claim that at his direction, members of this criminal organization sold marijuana and crack cocaine in the New York area and elsewhere, and sent the narcotics proceeds back to Coke and his co-conspirators. Coke and his co-conspirators also are accused of arming their organization with illegally trafficked firearms.
If convicted on the narcotics charge, Coke faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to US$4 million. He also faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the firearms-trafficking charge, and a fine of up to US$250,000.