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CaribNews Round Up

Judge clears way to try first 10 over Jamaican lottery scam

BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) — A federal judge in North Dakota has cleared the way to try the 10 defendants who have already been arraigned in a multimillion-dollar Jamaican lottery scam case instead of waiting until the other five suspects have been taken into US custody.Assistant US Attorney Clare Hochhalter asked US District Judge Dan Hovland to allow the government to proceed to trial without waiting for the remaining defendants to be caught or extradited from Jamaica, saying the victims deserve justice in a case that has already dragged on for more than five years.

“Elderly victims (and) witnesses continue to die awaiting conclusion of this case,” he said. “Twelve victims are known to have died during the pendency of this matter.” Hovland approved the request Wednesday, saying it is “in the best interest of the public and all of the defendants.”

A trial date hasn’t been set.

The five suspects who are not in US custody will be separated from the case of others who have been extradited from the Caribbean nation to North Dakota, where the case originated. Four of the five are still fugitives. The fifth is in custody in Jamaica awaiting extradition.

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No locks, no bars – ‘Dudus’ moved to low-security prison

Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke has been moved to a low-security prison with “no bars, towers, or locks” to complete his 23-year prison sentence in the United States (US).

The US Bureau of Prisons confirmed yesterday that Coke had been transferred to the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), located in the state of New Jersey.

“I have him here,” a spokesperson at Fort Dix confirmed to The Gleaner.

The spokesperson, however, indicated that it was against government policy to disclose when Coke was transferred and why.

The Fort Dix FCI is located in Burlington County, New Jersey, and currently houses just over 4,000 male inmates. According to its admission and orientation handbook for inmates, which has been published on the Internet, the facility has “no bars, towers, or locks on the rooms located within the community units”.

“Inmates must demonstrate a high degree of responsibility and the expectations are that each inmate will comply,” the document noted.

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U Roy Set For First NY Performance In Over 25 Years

U-Roy set for first NY performance in over 25y

Jamaican music icon and pioneer, U Roy, who ruled the charts in the ’70s with classic anthems like Penny for Your Song (with Derrick Harriott), Stop That Train, Dread inna Babylon, Wake the Town, Rule the Nation and Wear You to the Ball (with John Holt), is scheduled to perform in Queens on Sunday, June 25.

‘The Originator’, as he is also called, has earned an invitation to dazzle the audience at New York’s Groovin’ in the Park concert at the Roy Wilkins Park, where he will join reggae/rocksteady hitmaker Freddie McGregor, chart-topper Ken Boothe and music magician Leroy Sibbles. All four acts will form part of a special package that celebrates the magic of the rocksteady/reggae era. This will be U-Roy’s first outdoor concert performance in New York City in more than 25 years, and he is elated by this unique opportu-nity to take the audience on a journey down memory lane.

“This performance is a big, big thing! The last time I performed outdoor in New York was with Toots in Central Park in the ’80s,” he recalled.

“I have heard about Groovin’ in the Park, but this is the first time I am being invited to perform. Its an honour, and I will do my best to please everyone,” he affirmed.

U-Roy is a major magnet for reggae audiences in Europe and Africa. A few years ago, he had a minor hit stateside with singer Richie Stephens called Real Reggae Music. A follow-up single, Nah Complain, with entertainer Kafinal, topped reggae charts in Canada and New York. Earlier this year, he recorded Pumps & Pride with singer Tarrus Riley, and it is getting traction on numerous stations in the diaspora. But his monster smash is still his collaborative song, Wear You to the Ball, which was released with John Holt in the early ’70s. It reached No. 1 on the Jamaican charts and stayed there for 12 weeks.

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