The Scarface And Godfather Of Jamaica In Real Life: 10 Things To Know About Christopher Dudus Coke

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Written by Ann Brown
Coke
The Scarface And Godfather Of Jamaica In Real Life: 10 Things To Know About Christopher Dudus Coke Photo: In this June 24, 2010, file photo, DEA agents bring Jamaican gang leader Christopher “Dudus” Coke From Westchester County Airport to a waiting vehicle in White Plains, New York. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)

“Scarface” and “The Godfather” may be legendary gangster movies, but Christopher Michael Coke, aka Dudus, was a real-life legendary gangster in Jamaica. He reigned over his drug kingdom from 1992 until his capture in 2010.

Dudus was the leader of the Shower Posse, a notorious drug gang started by his father, Lester Coke. Shower Posse exported massive quantities of marijuana and cocaine to the U.S.

Here are 10 thinks to know about Jamaica’s real life Scarface.

1. Father was a drug lord

Lester Coke was widely successful as a drug lord and was able to give his children the best of everything but he couldn’t protect his son, Christopher (Dudus), and other children from the violence of the drug world. Dudus’ sister and brother were killed in drug-related violence in 1987 and 2004, respectively. 

As he got older, Dudus was gradually brought into his father’s organization.

2. Heir apparent

After his father’s death in 1992, 23-year-old Dudus became the leader of the gang and controlled the Tivoli Gardens community in West Kingston.

3. Robin Hood?

Dudus developed community programs to help the poor and had so much local support that Jamaican police were unable to enter Tivoli Gardens without community consent, The New Yorker reported.

Dudus’ people would give schoolbooks and stationary to children and he ran free bi-annual concerts with some of Jamaica’s top reggae artists, InSight Crime reported.

 He even arranged for schooling and sustenance for poor local families, The Guardian reported.

4. Two decades of dealing

For nearly two decades, Dudus trafficked tons of marijuana and cocaine. He was a U.S. citizen and the main base for his U.S. operations was in the Bronx, New York City, but he also built a large network in Toronto, Canada.

The streets of New York became less violent during Dudus’ reign but in Jamaica, murders went up to 62.5 per 100,000 in 2005 — one of the highest in the world, according to the Center to Combat Terriorism at West Point. Many of these murders were committed by gunmen from Tivoli Gardens.

Dudus tried to give the appearance of running a legitimate business. He headed two front companies — Presidential Click and Incomparable Enterprises.

5. Ruled with heavy hand

Dudus, who went by the names of Dudus, Presi, Bossy and Shortman,  had his own small army of up to 200 soldiers and a makeshift jail where he detained those who defied him.

One of Dudus’ former henchmen described how the gang leader would go into the jail run by the Shower Posse and dispatch rivals by cutting them up with a chainsaw, The Guardian reported.

The Shower Posse was alleged to have carried out more than 1,000 murders.

6. Wiretapped

Authorities wiretapped calls to Dudus’ phone. Thousands of calls were introduced into evidence at a pre-sentencing hearing.

In one from 2006, Dudus could be heard talking in patois with an associate who can be heard pledging his allegiance, The New Yorker reported: “Man love you. Man do anything for you. Mi no spar with nobody who do nah spar with you.”

It seemed that Dudus felt the violence of those around him was hindering his business. “Them nah think how to make no money. Them only think about war, war, war … if war come then war come but we can’t go outta the way to start war,” he said, according to a wiretapped call.

7. The wig

Before he turned himself in, Dudus was on the run and disguised himself as a woman. It took more than a month for Jamaican authorities to find him, the island’s most wanted man. He was hiding in plain sight. 

A police booking photograph of Dudus, who was balding and usually wore a beard, showed him closely shaved and with a full, fake Afro topped by a black baseball hat, The New York Times reported.

The police told The Jamaica Observer newspaper that a pink wig had also been found in the car he was in, as well as women’s glasses.

8. Surrender

On his way to turn himself in to the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Dudus was detained during a routine roadblock. He had attempted to disguise himself as a woman, wearing a woman’s wig and a pair of women’s sunglasses. Security forces recognized him despite his disguise.

Dudus feared for his safety and voluntarily waived his right to an extradition trial so that he could be taken to the U.S. to be tried. Dudus’ father had died in 1992 in a mysterious prison fire while awaiting an extradition trial in Jamaica, BBC reported.

9. Arrest and extradition

A U.S. citizen, Dudus was arrested on drug charges and extradited to the U.S. in 2010. His followers in Kingston, especially in Tivoli Gardens, were unhappy with his arrest and violence broke out in the streets.

Many people died in the violence during Dudus’ extradition. At least 73 civilians died in the process of getting him out of Jamaica and into U.S. custody. “Most appear to have been unarmed civilians, rounded up and massacred after the neighborhood was already under control,” The New Yorker reported.

The Jamaican Army attacked Tivoli Gardens and “fired mortars and then used bulldozers to break through the heavy barricades,” according to a State Department cable obtained by The New Yorker.

The U.S. knew about the massacre.

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10. The charges

In 2011, Dudus pleaded guilty to federal racketeering conspiracy for trafficking large quantities of marijuana and cocaine into the U.S., according to a 2011 press release from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering for his approval of the stabbing attack on a marijuana dealer in New York City, The New York Times reported.

 In 2012, Dudus was sentenced by a Federal Court in New York to 23 years in federal prison. He is serving time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix. He was given a release date of Jan. 25, 2030.