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Americas

Alleged drug kingpin Coke extradicted to US

media Coke is escorted out of Westchester County Airport in New York Reuters

Accused Jamaican drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke has been extradicted to the United States. He arrived in New York Thursday night to face drug and gun-trafficking charges.

"Coke is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court tomorrow (Friday)," the US Justice Department said in a statement.

On Thursday he signed documents waiving his right to an extradition trial at a 15-minute hearing, Jamaica's Ministry of National Security said in a statement.

"Everyone, the whole country, has been adversely affected by the process that has surrounded my extradition and I hope that my action today will go some way towards healing all who have suffered and will be of benefit to the community of Tivoli Gardens," Coke said in a statement.

Coke’s bid to evade capture last month led to the deaths of 73 civilians in a police raid on his west Kingston slum stronghold, Tivoli Gardens.

Despite a state of emergency and house-to-house searches, Coke avoided capture until Tuesday, amid rumours he was either being sheltered on the island or had fled.

He had shaved his beard and was wearing a wig when he was picked up by police.

"I leave Jamaica and my family in particular [his mother] Patsy with a heavy heart but fully confident that in due course I will be vindicated and returned to them," he said before his extradition.

If convicted, Coke faces life in a US prison and millions of dollars in fines.

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