Left: Theresa Van Vliet. Right: Andrew Fahie. (Photos: File)

Former premier Andrew Fahie’s lawyer is opposing four motions from United States prosecutors that could shape his upcoming drug conspiracy trial in Miami, which was scheduled to start Monday but was instead delayed until Jan. 22.

The recent legal wrangling has hinted at some of the issues that may arise at trial, but it has not disclosed Mr. Fahie’s planned defence against US allegations that he conspired to allow cocaine to be trafficked through Virgin Islands waters in exchange for a cut of the proceeds from future drug sales.

He was arrested in April 2022 at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport minutes after he was allegedly shown $700,000 of fake cash aboard a private jet that he believed was destined for the VI, according to prosecutors.

His alleged co-conspirators — former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard and her son Kadeem Maynard — both later pleaded guilty and admitted to conspiring with Mr. Fahie to smuggle cocaine into the US.

The Maynards and Mr. Fahie, who denies wrongdoing, were the targets of a US Drug Enforcement Administration sting operation that included a confidential source and an undercover agent posing as members of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.

Now, lawyers are filing pre-trial motions debating what information — and which witnesses — each side will be permitted to present to the jury at trial.


In the longest of four Department of Justice motions filed on Dec. 19, prosecutors asked US District Court Judge Kathleen Williams to allow “co-conspirator statements” to be used against Mr. Fahie.

Prosecutors argued that the conversations among Mr. Fahie, the Maynards, the confidential source, and the undercover agent are “statements made by co-conspirators during the course and in furtherance of the conspiracy” and therefore are “not hearsay.”

Mr. Fahie was not present during all the meetings and was not a party to all the conversations, the evidence indicates.

The conversations, which were surreptitiously recorded, took place between March 20 and April 28, 2022, according to the motion.

Prosecutors argued that the evidence will show that a “single conspiracy, directed and authorised by [Mr.] Fahie, existed to import thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States via BVI and transport and launder drug-trafficking and bribery proceeds from the United States back into the BVI.”

Prosecutors noted that the motion is opposed by Mr. Fahie’s legal team, but no formal response had been published on the court’s PACER filing system as of Beacon press time yesterday afternoon.

‘Exculpatory statements’

In a second motion, prosecutors aim to limit Mr. Fahie from “admitting his own exculpatory statements” at trial. This motion refers to statements made following his April 28, 2022, arrest.

Prosecutors argue that the statements should be disallowed as “hearsay.”

For example, Mr. Fahie reportedly told DEA agents after his arrest that he was “not involved in drugs or anything illegal,” the motion states.

But when investigators confronted him, suggesting that they knew he had been in contact with their confidential source, Mr. Fahie reportedly replied that he did not know that the man was shipping drugs.

Additionally, soon after his arrest, Mr. Fahie allegedly told Ms. Maynard during his initial court hearing that he had returned $20,000 in cash that he had been given by the DEA source during an April 7 meeting.

Ms. Maynard, who is slated to testify against Mr. Fahie during his trial, later said that she did not see Mr. Fahie return the money, the motion states. She did not respond to Mr. Fahie that day in court because she was told not to speak by court security, the motion added.

In the same motion, prosecutors also asked Judge Williams to prevent the jury from hearing a statement that a woman, identified in court documents only as R.S., allegedly made to Ms. Maynard on April 28, 2022, shortly after Ms. Maynard’s arrest.

R.S. reportedly told Ms. Maynard that Mr. Fahie had told R.S. that he planned to call VI officials and have the confidential source arrested and the jet seized once it landed in the VI. However, Ms. Maynard didn’t hear this statement directly from Mr. Fahie, the prosecutors’ motion states.


In a response to the exculpatory statements motion, Mr. Fahie’s attorney Theresa Van Vliet wrote that the defence doesn’t plan to “examine any government witness regarding post-arrest statements allegedly made by Mr. Fahie to Ms. Maynard or the law enforcement.”

However, the defence does plan to ask questions about the statement made by R.S. to Ms. Maynard, “not for the truth of the matter asserted (i.e. that Mr. Fahie had the CS arrested in Tortola and had the money seized) but rather for the fact that the statements were made and, as such, are relevant to Mr. Fahie’s defence to the underlying charges,” the defence lawyer wrote.

Areas of agreement

The two sides are largely in agreement on two other issues raised in prosecutors’ motions.

One motion would have limited cross-examination into investigators’ use of “sensitive investigative techniques” such as the “physical characteristics” of the device used to record Mr. Fahie or how law enforcement uses such devices.

Prosecutors argued that disclosing those specifics in open court would needlessly threaten future investigations and put Department of Justice agents and sources at risk.

However, in response, Ms. Van Vliet responded that the defence did not intend to ask questions along those lines.

A similar US motion asks to preclude the defence from “raising an entrapment defence at trial.”

Ms. Van Vliet responded that the defence had no plans to do so.

Special Agent Witek

In another motion, Ms. Van Vliet asked the judge to prevent prosecutors from using DEA Special Agent Brian Witek as an “expert witness.”

Alternatively, the attorney asked the judge to give Mr. Fahie’s team the chance to question Mr. Witek in the jury’s absence prior to his testimony in order to evaluate his qualifications and the basis for his expert opinions, court documents state.

Motions filed by the defence and the prosecution indicate that Mr. Witek would likely be asked to testify about the chemical composition of cocaine and how it is distributed, measured, manufactured, cut, trafficked, imported and concealed.

In addition to this “expert” testimony, Mr. Witek also plans to testify about the particulars of Mr. Fahie’s case, “including serving as a designated co-case agent and authoring the bulk of the debriefing investigation reports in this case,” Ms. Van Vliet wrote.

She argued that the DEA agent’s 19-year career in itself doesn’t meet the standard to be qualified as an expert witness.

“Notably absent from the notice are any credentials, whether specialised experience, education, expertise, or specialised training, possessed by [Special Agent] Witek as the foundation for whatever his expert testimony may be at trial. The notice provides that SA Witek has no experience an expert witness, has never authored publications in the several areas of expertise in which he is proffered, and has never been qualified as an expert by any court in the last decade,” the defence attorney wrote.

Jan. 17 hearing

Judge Williams has yet to rule on any of the motions, but a hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday to discuss “trial matters.”

On Jan. 3, the trial was rescheduled from Monday of this week to Jan. 22, but no reasons for the delay were detailed in court documents.