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February 25, 2012
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Dudus wants more time

Former Tivoli Gardens'don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke has requested that US federal judge Robert Patterson suspend his sentencing date until March 16.

In a motion to the judge yesterday, Coke pointed to a 30-page sentencing memorandum filed by the prosecutors on Wednesday as the reason for which he has requested the postponement.

"The defendant Christopher Coke respectfully request that this court allows him to respond," the filed motion said.

It added that the government has no objection to a continuance in the matter until March 16.

Judge Patterson has not yet responded to the motion.

On Wednesday, the government, in its sentencing memorandum, urged Patterson to imprison Coke for the maximum 23 years.

Federal prosecutors in Manhat-tan describe Coke as one of the most powerful and brutal drug lords in Jamaica and whose arrest in 2010 came after a month-long manhunt that left more than 70 people dead.

In a sentencing memorandum filed late Wednesday, the office of the United States attorney, Preet Bharara, said that the federal advisory sentencing guidelines that apply in the case involving Coke called for a sentence of slightly less than 22 years to 23 years in prison.

Coke, 42, pleaded guilty in August to charges including racketeering conspiracy

According to a report in The New York Times, Bharara's office said Coke led a drug-trafficking ring from an armed stronghold in Tivoli Gardens in Kingston, moving guns and drugs between Jamaica and the United States, and ordering murders, shootings and beatings.

"Coke's soldiers often began their service to him as teenagers, drawn from the community and trained by Coke and his lieutenants to guard the streets of Tivoli Gardens with guns, and to engage in acts of violence at Coke's direction," two prosecutors, Jocelyn E. Strauber and John T. Zach, wrote.

In September, Coke, in a seven-page handwritten letter sent to Judge Patterson, made his own sentencing request. In the letter, he said he accepted responsibility for his actions and asked the judge to use his 'discretion' to sentence him 'below the guideline range.'

Among the reasons Coke gave was that his mother had recently died. "I was told that while she was on her deathbed, she was crying and kept calling my name," he wrote, adding, "I am humbly asking if you could be lenient on me."

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