It is an unspoken code of any gang to remain loyal to the gang even to the point of death. That is why any gang member who becomes an informant to the authorities is labelled a snitch.
Usually, a snitch will seek asylum or immunity from law enforcement to provide crucial inside information that can take down the whole gang.
A former Jamaican gang general, known in court records as Sean B. and nicknamed “Cowboy”, sold out his gang leader, Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Christoper was sentenced to 25 years in 2012. Sean, an undocumented immigrant, was a crucial witness in the case that shut down the drug lord’s empire, both in Jamaica and the U.S., the New York Daily reports.
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It takes a lot of gut for a gang member to be a key witness in an investigation. Sean put his life on the line in exchange for an asylum and work permit in the U.S.
With his tainted criminal records which includes drug trafficking charges and two previous deportations, he pleaded guilty and started liaising with the government to take down Coke’s organization.
He has not been on the ICE’s radar until January 2019 and he now faces deportation. However, Cowboy is a “marked” person in Jamaica. He said in a sworn statement: “Being a snitch in Jamaica is one of the worst things you can do and I am branded as one for the rest of my life. I will be killed in Jamaica if I return. If I return to Jamaica, I am dead as soon as I get off the plane. I testified against one of the most powerful men in Jamaica,” the New York Daily reports.
New Jersey District Judge Kevin McNulty has been instrumental in blocking Sean B’s deportation. The judge ordered a restraining order against the government. The restraining order got to the ICE rather late; Sean B. was flown privately to Jamaica. His life-threatening return lasted for three days.
In a recent ruling by Judge McNulty, he said: “Since (Sean’s) testimony, his sister’s house was burned down, the house of his children’s mother was bombed, six of his cousins have been murdered, and his father was forced to flee the country.”
In that short three-day stay, Sean had run-ins with the locals. Gregory Copeland, his attorney, recounts his client’s experience, saying: “What happened when he got removed was cinematic in terms of how insane it was.”
He adds that Sean had to keep a low profile with his sister and his close circle because a simple walk outside almost turned into a spectacle. The Cowboy’s survival instincts kicked in and he fled to safety and hysterically called his legal team in the U.S. via a payphone, the Grio reports.
Still uncertain of his fate in the states, Sean B. is currently ICE custody after a rescue mission by federal agents in Jamaica. Yet, his immigration appeals have been unsuccessful.
Judge McNulty expresses concern over the matter, saying: “I find it quite likely that a person in that position in Jamaica — in hiding, and under a threat of death — could not effectively litigate an immigration appeal,” the New York Daily reported. Sean B. might still have a shot at safety in his pending immigration trial in the coming week.
No ICE agent has given any official statement about the matter. His legal team is, however, hopeful that the outcome of the hearing will go in their client’s favour, otherwise, “he is a dead man”, Craig Riles told the New York Daily.