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Fahie Guilty on All Counts in Cocaine Smuggling Case; Sentencing Set for April 29

Kadeem Maynard, Andrew Fahie, and Oleanvine Pickering-Maynard were all charged in a plot to import cocaine through the British Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland. Fahie was found guilty on all counts Thursday following a seven-day trial in Miami federal court. (V.I. Source photo illustration)

Former premier Andrew Fahie was found guilty Thursday of a scheme to use the British Virgin Islands as a thruway for cocaine trafficking following a seven-day trial in Miami federal court.

The 12-member jury found Fahie guilty on all four counts against him — conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, attempted money laundering, and foreign travel in aid of racketeering — after deliberating for four just over four hours Thursday afternoon.

According to reports from the courtroom, Fahie received the verdict in stony silence when it was delivered just after 5:30 p.m. Free on bail since shortly after his arrest in April 2022, he was handcuffed and taken into custody. His sentencing is set for April 29, when he could face up to life in prison and a $10 million fine.

His co-conspirators in the scheme — former BVI Ports Authority director Oleanvine Pickering-Maynard and her son Kadeem Maynard — both took plea deals, with Pickering Maynard testifying against Fahie at his trial. She is due to be sentenced on Feb. 22.  Maynard, 32, was sentenced in November to 57 months in prison on a single charge of conspiracy to import cocaine.

The trio were caught up in a sting operation in April 2022 by U.S. agents posing as drug cartel representatives. In exchange for agreeing to facilitate the safe passage through BVI ports of tons of Colombian cocaine headed to Miami, they would make millions, which would be funneled through different businesses and bank accounts to hide the money’s source.

Pickering-Maynard, 62, and Fahie, 53, were arrested at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on April 28, 2022, after stepping off a private jet they thought contained $700,000 as pre-payment for a first cocaine shipment, prosecutors said. That same day, Maynard was arrested on St. Thomas, where prosecutors said he expected to receive his first payment.

Evidence presented at trial included text messages, WhatsApp communications, and more than 8,000 minutes of secretly recorded audio tape on which the three enthusiastically agreed to make Tortola a major narcotics through point. On those recordings, Fahie, a fixture in BVI politics since 1999, bragged about decades of ill deeds and gave the name of at least one smuggler that he considered like family.

Fahie, represented by attorney Theresa Van Vliet, contended that he believed he was being “framed” by U.K. officials in a bid to remove him from office and that he intended to have the cash-laden jet seized when it landed in Tortola.

According to a report by Tortoise media, the DEA informed officials with the U.K.’s National Crime Agency about the sting operation in September 2021 and they assisted in the case prior to Fahie’s arrest.

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