Virgin Islander Kadeem Maynard was sentenced to nearly five years in a United States prison on Monday after pleading guilty to participating in an alleged conspiracy to traffic large amounts of cocaine into the United States with the help of his mother Oleanvine Maynard and then-Premier Andrew Fahie.
Mr. Maynard, who has been jailed since his arrest on April 28, 2022, is being held in Florida at Federal Detention Center, Miami after receiving a 57-month prison sentence on Monday from Judge Kathleen Williams.
He will also undergo a five-year period of supervised release after his prison term ends and pay a $100 special assessment, according to the sentence.
Five months ago, the 32-year-old defendant admitted to conspiring with Mr. Fahie, Ms. Maynard and a man he thought was a representative of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel but who turned out to be a confidential informant with the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
The informant allegedly detailed plans to ship thousands of kilograms of cocaine through VI waters and requested the defendants’ help in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds of the drug sales.
‘Relatively minor involvement’
Mr. Maynard told the US court in June that he had introduced the confidential informant to his mother, a longtime VI public officer who in 2022 was serving as the managing director of the BVI Ports Authority. He also introduced the informant to Mr. Fahie, coordinated meetings of the group, and served as a go-between, he stated.
During a March 2022 meeting, Mr. Maynard and his mother accepted a $10,000 payment from the informant in advance of a planned “test run” to ship 3,000 kilograms of cocaine via VI waters, Mr. Maynard stated in a June 2023 “factual proffer” filed as part of his plea deal.
Mr. Fahie and Ms. Maynard were arrested after an April 2022 meeting with the informant at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, where they allegedly viewed what they thought was $700,000 in cash aboard an airplane.
Father of four
Mr. Maynard was described in US court records as a father of four and an entrepreneur who previously operated businesses in Tortola and Baltimore, Maryland.
In an Aug. 10 objection to the presentence investigation report filed with the court, his attorneys sought to downplay his role in the alleged drug conspiracy, arguing that he had “a relatively minor involvement in the offence.”
“It should be noted, of course, that no narcotics were ever transported for shipment and no drugs entered the United States,” Mr. Maynard’s attorneys wrote.
The attorneys have also described him as “the very definition of a first-time offender” and “truly remorseful” for his actions. His formal education ended after the 11th grade, but he intends to obtain a General Educational Development equivalency diploma, the attorneys told the court.
In a July 1 letter to the judge, Mr. Maynard apologised for his actions.
“I am not the same person that I was when I walk into prison. The time away from my loved ones made me value so many things more,” he wrote. “With the time I have been incarcerated I was able to elevate my mind and see what’s more important.”
Like her son, Ms. Maynard pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge, and she is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 18.
However, Mr. Fahie, who was in the third year of his first term as VI premier at the time of his arrest, plans to contest the charges against him at trial and is not negotiating a plea deal, his attorney, Theresa Van Vliet, reportedly told the Miami Herald this week. A status hearing in Mr. Fahie’s case is set for Nov. 28, and his trial is scheduled to start on Jan. 8.
Yesterday, Ms. Van Vliet did not immediately respond to an email from the Beacon.