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'Dudus' pleads not guilty

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'Dudus' pleads not guilty on Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:28 pm



Christopher 'Dudus' Coke pleaded not guilty in the Manhattan federal court yesterday for drug and gun-trafficking charges.

ap - In this artist's court drawing, Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, second from right, listens as his lawyer enters a not-guilty plea in US Federal Court yesterday in New York, United States of America.

Coke was taken to court by United States authorities less than 24 hours after being extradited to the United States (US) to answer to allegations that he had operated a massive international drug and gun ring.

The Tivoli Gardens strongman who was temporarily represented by a US public defender, was denied bail and should return to court on Monday. It is expected that he will be represented by attorney Frank Doddato then.

Dudus arrived in the US shortly after 6 p.m. on Thursday, heavily guarded by security personnel. Hours earlier, he had waived his right to an extradition hearing at a special sitting of the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, held at Harman Barracks.

He was taken into custody on Tuesday, after being on the run since May 24 when security personnel invaded his Tivoli Gardens community. He was captured on Tuesday when police intercepted a vehicle in which he was travelling with the Reverend Al Miller.

illegally trafficking

Coke's extradition comes 10 months after the US Attorney's office in New York unsealed an indictment accusing him of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine and illegally trafficking firearms.

The US Attorneys office said that if convicted on the narcotics charge, Coke will face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory sentence of 10 years. He also faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the firearms-trafficking charge.

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