Former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard (left, shown during the pandemic)testified against former premier Andrew Fahie (right) in Miami. (File Photo)

Two weeks after a Miami jury found former premier Andrew Fahie guilty of a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, his future remains uncertain as attorneys spar over whether the court should investigate questions that arose shortly after the unanimous verdict against him.

Judge Kathleen Williams, who presided over Mr. Fahie’s eight-day trial, has scheduled a hearing on March 7 to discuss the unusual legal circumstances surrounding two jurors who expressed concern about the verdict minutes after the trial ended.

During a Tuesday hearing, Ms. Williams heard from defence attorneys who support polling the two jurors again and prosecutors who want to let the verdict stand, according to the Miami Herald.

She has asked lawyers to present further legal precedents on the matter, but both sides have struggled to find similar cases in Florida, the newspaper reported.

“From the start, this has been an unusual case in many respects,” Ms. Williams said during the Tuesday hearing, according to the Herald.

Individually polled

After the guilty verdicts were read aloud in court on Feb. 8, the jurors were polled individually, and they all confirmed a unanimous guilty verdict on each of four counts. Then they were discharged, and Mr. Fahie was remanded into custody.

Minutes later, however, a male and a female juror told court staff that the published verdicts on some of the counts hadn’t been their verdicts, Theresa Van Vliet, Mr. Fahie’s lead defence attorney, wrote in a Feb. 13 legal filing.

Later that evening, the male juror called Ms. Van Vliet’s office twice. Once, he spoke briefly with her co-counsel, Joyce Delgado, who summarised the conversation in a Feb. 9 email to Ms. Van Vliet.

After identifying himself, the juror “blurted out that he wanted to know what was happening with the case because he’s worried that if all the jurors are asked to return that they will ‘never come to an agreement,’ so he wants to know what the process is,” Ms. Delgado wrote, adding that she quickly ended the phone call.

Ms. Van Vliet declined to comment on the ongoing case.


For now, Mr. Fahie remains an inmate of Federal Detention Center Miami, a short walk away from the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. District Courthouse where twelve jurors unanimously found him guilty on each of the four counts against him: conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, attempted money laundering, and foreign travel in aid of racketeering.

If the verdicts stand, Mr. Fahie could face a minimum sentence of 10 years on the importation charge and a maximum term of life in prison.

He is scheduled to be sentenced April 29.

Meanwhile, his alleged co-conspirator Oleanvine Maynard, the former managing director of the BVI Ports Authority, is expected to be sentenced by Ms. Williams at 2 p.m. today.

Ms. Maynard previously pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to import cocaine. She faces the same potential penalties as Mr. Fahie but testified against him and seeks a lighter sentence in exchange for her cooperation.

Fahie allegations

During his 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.

To make that case, the prosecution called five witnesses: Jossue Dominguez and Brian Witek, who were both working the case for the DEA, Customs and Border Protection digital forensic analysts William Cortes and Jon Adams, and Ms. Maynard.

In addition to providing testimony, the witnesses often served as conduits for prosecutors to present other evidence in the case, including many hours of secretly recorded communications and messages, as well as call logs taken from Mr. Fahie’s cell phone.

In contrast, the defence did not offer its own witnesses or exhibits, instead using the cross- examination of some witnesses — most notably DEA agent Witek and Ms. Maynard — in an attempt to show that Mr. Fahie was at times sceptical of the proposal made to him by the DEA confidential source “Roberto Quintero,” who was posing as a member of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.

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 Mr. Quintero in an attempt to remove him from office.