Two of the jurors who voted to convict former premier Andrew Fahie told the judge they changed their minds, according to a newspaper report. (File photo: DANA KAMPA)

Two jurors in the drug conspiracy trial of former Virgin Islands premier Andrew Fahie said they changed their minds shortly after delivering a guilty verdict last week, plunging the case into uncharted legal territory, the Miami Herald has reported.

Last Thursday, all 12 jurors sitting in Courtroom 11-3 of the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. United States Courthouse voted unanimously to convict Mr. Fahie of all four charges against him: conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, attempted money laundering, and foreign travel in aid of racketeering.

After more than four hours of jury deliberations, Judge Kathleen Williams read the jury’s verdict at 5:41 p.m.

Then she polled the jurors individually, and each confirmed that they had voted for the verdict.

Monday hearing

However, in a hearing held Monday morning, Judge Williams revealed that two jurors had contacted her shortly after the verdict to say that they didn’t agree with the guilty verdict after all, according to the Herald.

The judge is now considering whether she has the authority to bring back the jurors and poll them again, considering that the case has been discharged, the newspaper reported.

“I’ve looked at all the other cases and, unsurprisingly, there’s none with this exact scenario,” the judge was quoted as saying. “I have extremely limited avenues to explore.”

She ordered the prosecution and Mr. Fahie’s defence, led by attorney Theresa Van Vliet, to file motions by Thursday with their suggestions on how to address the issue, according to the Herald.

The judge’s options could include letting the guilty verdicts stand or declaring a mistrial, the newspaper reported.

Securing a conviction typically requires a unanimous jury.

The charges

Meanwhile, Mr. Fahie remains in custody in a Miami prison.

The maximum sentence for the cocaine-conspiracy charge is life in prison and a $10 million fine. 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.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Mr. Fahie agreed to allow undercover operatives working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration to use VI waters to traffic thousands of kilograms of cocaine.

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

Mr. Fahie and former BVI Ports Authority managing director Oleanvine Maynard were told that the $500,000 — and an additional $200,000 for Ms. Maynard, who pleaded guilty and testified against Mr. Fahie — would be flown on a private jet to Tortola, DEA operatives testified.

But after the pair viewed fake cash aboard a jet at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on April 28, 2022, DEA agents arrested them.