CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. June 28, 2010: By now, the world knows his name and the fact that an attempt to arrest him resulted in a four-day siege and shut down of Jamaica`s capital and the deaths of over 70. But on Friday outside a New York court, relatives defended the man called Christopher `Dudus` Coke.
`They call him the big bad wolf,` one woman, who called herself an auntie, said sarcastically. `He`s a good person. He`s a very good person.`
About a dozen of Coke`s New York-based relatives showed up for support at his hearing at the Manhattan federal court. Among them were four aunts and four cousins.
Coke had once lived in the United States but was later deported after being convicted in North Carolina in 1998 of possession of stolen property.
He pleaded not guilty to narcotics and gun trafficking charges at arraignment Friday. Coke, wearing a blue prison smock, was remanded to custody by U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson. Coke faces a maximum sentence of life in prison in a U.S. jail if convicted. However, his lawyer, Frank Doddato, told reporters Coke`s defense team would fight the charges and not even concede `the time of day` to the prosecution.
He has said he expects to be vindicated and to return to his family as a free man. Judge Patterson scheduled another hearing for today, at which the question of whether Coke will retain private lawyers might be addressed.
Frank A. Doddato, one lawyer who attended the arraignment, said Friday that he expected to be one of several lawyers retained by Coke, and that they would seek to have him released on bail. Doddato`s Linked In profile claims he is a `solo practitioner concentrating on criminal matters on both the State and Federal levels` and has continuously been practicing in those areas on Long Island since 1974.
The Kingston strongman`s arraignment came a day after he waived a right to an extradition trial in Jamaica and turned himself in to U.S. authorities.
Coke was nabbed in a wig and glasses last Tuesday by Jamaica police at a road block in St. Catherine, Jamaica.
Rev Al Miller was driving the car he was in and claimed he was taking the wanted man to the United States embassy at his request. Miller was charged last Thursday with harboring the wanted man and perverting the course of justice.