Former Premier Andrew Fahie and former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard were already facing three charges in connection with an alleged conspiracy to smuggle cocaine through the Virgin Islands and into the United States.
Now they’ve been hit with a new one. Both were charged last week with “foreign travel in aid of racketeering,” according to a superseding indictment filed Nov. 8 by US prosecutors in the Southern District Court of Florida.
Their arraignment on the new indictment, which was not broadcast online, was scheduled for yesterday morning in Miami.
Under the original grand jury indictment filed on May 10, the pair — along with Ms. Maynard’s son Kadeem Maynard — were accused of conspiracy to import a controlled substance, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and attempted money-laundering.
The superseding indictment — which does not add any new charges against Mr. Maynard — provides few details, but it alleges that Mr. Fahie’s racketeering-related offence took place on or about April 24, Ms. Maynard’s on or about April 26. Around that same time, both defendants were part of a VI delegation that attended the April 25-28 Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Miami.
The pair were arrested on April 28 in an airport near the city’s downtown area. The new indictment accuses Mr. Fahie and Ms. Maynard of knowingly travelling “in interstate and foreign commerce with the intent to promote, manage, establish, carry on, and facilitate the promotion, management, establishment and carrying on of an unlawful activity, that is a business enterprise involving narcotics or controlled substances.”
The new charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000. The penalties for the other charges, by contrast, are harsher: a maximum of life in prison and a maximum $10 million fine for conspiracy to import a controlled substance; and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction for the money-laundering-related charges.
The superseding indictment — which was filed by US attorneys Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Shane Butland — doesn’t explain why the new charges weren’t included in the original indictment. Attempts to reach the US attorneys and Mr. Fahie’s Florida attorney, Theresa Van Vliet, were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 10, US prosecutors mailed audio transcripts and video recordings to attorneys for the three defendants as part of the ongoing discovery process, according to a court document Mr. Gonzalez filed the same day in response to a standing discovery order.
The data include transcripts of audio recordings made on April 27 and 28 as well as videos of Mr. Fahie and Ms. Maynard recorded on April 28, the day of their arrest.
US prosecutors have previously claimed that their evidence against the former premier and his co-defendants includes more than 133 hours of audio and video recordings.
If played back-to-back without interruption, those recordings would last for more than five full days. The audio and video files — which prosecutors have been turning over as part of the discovery process — include recordings of meetings and phone calls that were secretly taped by US agents and informants, as well as files extracted from a Samsung Note 10 phone and other electronic devices belonging to Mr. Fahie and Ms. Maynard, according to a Sept. 12 document filed by Mr. Gonzalez in response to the standing discovery order.
The trio’s trial initially was scheduled to begin on July 18. But in keeping with usual practice in such cases, it was pushed back to Jan. 16 after the defendants’ attorneys asked for more time to prepare. Mr. Fahie is currently on house arrest in his daughters’ rented apartment in Florida, where he has been since he was released on bail after spending about six weeks in custody at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami.
Mr. Fahie secured a $1 million bond offer after a month-long battle with prosecutors, and he was released on June 13 after his childhood friend and prominent VI businessman Albion “Bobby” Hodge posted a $500,000 bond and satisfied a Nebbia requirement by proving that the money was not the proceeds of crime.
Besides the $500,000 corporate surety bond posted by Mr. Hodge, Mr. Fahie also had to post a $500,000 personal surety bond co-signed by himself, his daughters, and his friend Devon Osborne. As part of his corporate surety bond conditions, Mr. Fahie is required to undergo 24/7 GPS monitoring, and he is prohibited from leaving his daughters’ apartment even for attorney visits. He also had to sign an extradition waiver, which he did the day of his release. The Maynards were denied bail and remain in custody pending the trial.