Former BVI Premier Andrew Fahie Faces Life in Prison After Guilty Verdict on Drug and Racketeering Charges

Drug trafficking and racketeering charges lead to potential life sentence for Fahie

  • Janeka Simon
  • February 08, 2024

Former BVI Premier Andrew Fahie.

After taking some time to get underway, former British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie was found guilty on all charges against him in a high-profile case that captured international attention.

The trial, which unfolded rapidly after its commencement, saw both prosecution and defense presenting their evidence, motions, and closing arguments within a span of seven days. On the eighth day, the jury, consisting of 12 members, returned with their verdict: Fahie was guilty of conspiracy to import a controlled substance, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, attempted money laundering, and interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering.

It took the jury just over four hours to decide Fahie's fate, culminating in a unanimous decision that marked a significant downfall for the former political leader.

The case, as presented by U.S. prosecutors during opening arguments, was described as straightforward. The prosecution's narrative centered on a DEA informant who initially made contact with Fahie's co-conspirators, Oleanvine and Kadeem Maynard – the British Virgin Islands’ former head of ports and her son. The conspiracy's objective was to bribe BVI authorities to ignore the movement of cocaine-laden ships using the Tortola coastline as a transient haven en route to U.S. ports. In this illicit arrangement, Fahie was to receive a share from each cocaine sale, part for personal gain and part to ensure the complicity of key public officials.

In a critical moment of the sting, Fahie and Ms. Maynard, while in Miami, inspected what they believed to be their initial shipment of cash — $700,000, to be divided between them — aboard a private jet at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. However, this inspection, where they viewed counterfeit money, led to their arrest upon exiting the plane.

The Maynards had previously entered guilty pleas to their charges. Kadeem received a prison sentence of nearly five years, while his mother's sentencing was deferred until after her testimony against Fahie, dubbed "Head Coach." Her testimony, aligning closely with the prosecution's case, detailed her role in introducing the scheme to Fahie and confirmed his willingness to participate. She recounted Fahie's direct negotiations with the DEA informant, including his agreement to a 12% profit share from the cocaine shipments and his acceptance of a $20,000 "good faith" cash gift, while she admitted receiving $10,000 from the same source.

This testimony, pivotal in its potential to lighten Ms. Maynard's sentence at her upcoming February 22 hearing, has now left Fahie to face the consequences of his actions. His insistence on innocence and the resulting full jury trial mean he is ineligible for any leniency typically afforded by a plea deal. The charges carry severe penalties, with the money laundering counts each warranting up to 20 years in prison and the racketeering charge up to 5 years. The most grave, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, could lead to a life sentence and a fine of up to $10 million for the most egregious cases.

With the guilty verdict handed down just before 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Fahie, who had been residing in his daughter's Miami apartment during the trial, was taken into custody, marking a dramatic end to a high-profile trial.

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