Last week in a Miami court, former Premier Andrew Fahie and former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard pleaded not guilty to a new charge that was added to the three they already faced in connection with an alleged conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
Mr. Fahie was arraigned on Nov. 16 for “interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering,” and Ms. Maynard was arraigned the following day on the same charge. They both appeared before Magistrate Judge Melissa Damian at the Atkins Building Courthouse in Miami following a superseding indictment filed by US attorneys Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Shane Butland.
Under the original grand jury indictment filed on May 10, the two defendants — 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 also includes the earlier charges — does not add any new charges against Mr. Maynard, but he was nevertheless arraigned again on Nov. 16 for the original charges and he again pleaded not guilty, according to court records.
The new indictment 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 the same time, both defendants were part of a VI delegation that attended the April 25-28 Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Miami. They 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 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 did not explain why the new charges weren’t included in the original indictment. Attempts to reach the defendants’ attorneys have been unsuccessful.
Trial date set
Meanwhile, the trial of the former premier and the Maynards is now set to begin on Jan. 9 for a two week trial calendar, according to court records. If the case cannot be tried during the two-week period, it will be re-set for each successive trial calendar until it is tried or resolved, the records state.
The trial initially was scheduled to begin on July 18, but 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 monthlong 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.