Former premier Andrew Fahie’s sentencing on drug-conspiracy charges was initially scheduled for this month in Miami, but it has been delayed until June 25 after his lawyer requested more time to prepare last week.

Following a jury’s unanimous guilty verdicts on four charges on Feb. 8, Mr. Fahie was remanded into custody at the Federal Detention Center, Miami pending a sentencing hearing initially scheduled for April 29. But last Thursday, the defence requested and received a delay, giving his lawyers more time to review the pre-sentence investigation report the United States Probation Office filed on March 26.

That report, which has not been made public, details Mr. Fahie’s background and personal circumstances and will be one of several factors used by US District Court Judge Kathleen Williams to determine his sentence.

In the defence’s motion asking for the delay last week, defence attorney Teresa Van Vliet wrote that she is unavailable from April 6 to 22 because of “prepaid travel plans.”

Accordingly, she stated, she will need additional time to finalise any objections to the pre-sentence report and prepare a sentencing memorandum for Ms. Williams to consider.

Prosecutors did not oppose the motion, which Ms. Williams approved the same day.

Maximum sentence

The most serious charge for which Mr. Fahie was convicted — conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine — can bring a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10 million fine, according to the 2022 indictment.

The other three charges — conspiracy to engage in money laundering, attempted money laundering, and foreign travel in aid of racketeering — carry maximum prison terms of 20, 20 and five years, respectively.

Ms. Williams is also scheduled to sentence Mr. Fahie’s co-conspirator, former BVI Ports Authority managing director Oleanvine Maynard, at 3 p.m. on April 26.

Ms. Maynard, who pleaded guilty and testified against Mr. Fahie in hopes of a lighter sentence, also faces a potential 10-year minimum prison term. However, Ms. Williams has the authority to give Ms. Maynard a lesser sentence than the minimum under “safety-valve” provisions in US sentencing rules.

Sting operation

The charges stemmed from a US Drug Enforcement Administration sting operation during which undercover operatives posed as members of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel asking Mr. Fahie and Ms. Maynard for “free passage” to move cocaine through VI waters.

In exchange, prosecutors said, Mr. Fahie expected to receive an initial $500,000 in cash and a cut of the proceeds from future drug sales.

During Mr. Fahie’s eight-day trial, Ms. Van Vliet repeatedly questioned the narrative that Mr. Fahie was engaging in illegal activity, arguing instead that he had an “earnestly held belief” that the United Kingdom government had sent an operative as part of an attempt to remove him from office.

Jury questions

The jury’s verdicts against Mr. Fahie were called into question shortly after they were delivered.

Ms. Van Vliet wrote in a Feb. 13 legal filing that two jurors — a man and a woman — had told court staff the same day that the Feb. 8 published verdicts on some of the counts hadn’t been their verdicts.

The lawyer added at the time that she did not know which counts were disputed.

But the uncertainty was resolved during a March 7 hearing. The court had asked both jurors to appear so that they could be asked further questions about the verdicts. However, the male juror did not appear and the female juror ultimately confirmed her previous votes for the guilty verdicts, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.

Ms. Williams then said she would allow the verdicts to stand.