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HomeNewsLocal newsFahie Claims Minor Role In Cocaine Scheme, Seeks Lessened Sentence

Fahie Claims Minor Role In Cocaine Scheme, Seeks Lessened Sentence

Former B.V.I. Premier Andrew Fahie has asked to be sentenced to no more than 10 years in prison. (Photo: still from GIS video)
Former BVI Premier Andrew Fahie has asked to be sentenced to no more than 10 years in prison. (Photo courtesy BVI GIS)

Andrew Fahie, the former British Virgin Islands leader who used the code name Head Coach in a plot to smuggle huge quantities of cocaine through Tortola to the mainland United States then hide the proceeds, has asked a federal judge in Miami to lessen his potential penalty when sentenced.

Fahie, 53, was convicted of cocaine smuggling and money laundering charges Feb. 8. Arrested with Fahie in Miami April 28, 2022 was the BVI’s then-Ports Authority Managing Director Oleanvine Pickering Maynard, who pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday. Maynard’s son, Kadeem Maynard, was arrested on St. Thomas the same day and in a plea deal was sentenced to 57 months in prison.

Fahie could be sentenced to life in prison and a $10-million fine. He’s asked the judge to sentence him to a maximum of 10 years — the minimum.

Fahie’s attorney filed a brief June 7 claiming the former top elected B.V.I. official had only a minor role in the plot, had no knowledge of a side deal between Maynard and government agents posing as drug runners, and did not actually import any cocaine.

“Mr. Fahie objects to the suggestion that the offense involved the importation of cocaine. The manufactured scheme in this law enforcement sting called for purported drug dealers to use the port at Tortola in the BVI as a temporary storage facility for a substance that would ultimately be transported to Puerto Rico and then on to Miami, Florida. However, as there were no laboratory tests of any substance, there is no proof that a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine would have been transported from a place outside the United States (BVI) into a place inside the United States (Puerto Rico),” Fahie’s attorneys wrote to the court.

Fahie’s attorneys also claimed he never actually had interactions with Lebanese Hezbollah operatives. Prosecutors had said Pickering Maynard and her son had been falsely told they were dealing with the Sinaloa Drug Cartel and Lebanese terrorists in the deal. Fahie’s attorneys argued no such terrorists were involved with Fahie.

“The crimes of which Mr. Fahie stands convicted did not involve the Lebanese individuals the Confidential Source identified as Hezbollah operatives,” the attorneys told the court regarding Fahie’s pre-sentencing report. “The mere suggestion of a wholly unsupported connection between Mr. Fahie and members of a designated terrorist organization is highly prejudicial and inflammatory and requires any reference to ‘Hezbollah’ to be removed from the PSR.”

Representing Road Town residents in the BVI House of Assembly since 1999, Fahie was the territory’s highest ranking publicly elected official from 2019 until a few days after his arrest. Being an elected public official warranted a more severe sentence, but his attorneys argued he was less informed about the plot to park container ships laden with cocaine in Tortola for a few days to gain legitimacy than his co-defendants.

“Compared to both K. Maynard and O. Maynard, the degree to which Mr. Fahie understood the scope and structure of the purported scheme was much more limited,” his attorneys wrote. “Mr. Fahie had no part in planning or organizing the purported scheme, and he exercised no decision-making authority. The Maynards acknowledged that information was withheld from Mr. Fahie. At best the Governments evidence showed that Mr. Fahie was more of a figurehead than an active participant, and although he stood to earn a large amount of money, he did not stand to earn as much as the participants who would be more permanent and who were involved in the ‘side deal.'”

Confidential informants gathered some 8,000 minutes of secretly recorded audio tape in which Fahie bragged about myriad illicit acts, including offering to supply weapons to the government agents posing as drug runners, prosecutors said. Pickering Maynard called him a “little crook.”

Fahie’s attorneys asked the court to sentence him to the minimum, 10 years in prison.

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