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New York - A U.S. federal judge on Friday sentenced Jamaican drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke to 23 years in prison, ending a long struggle by U.S. authorities to lock up a powerful figure who had evaded capture with the aid of Jamaican authorities.
Coke, 43, was given the maximum sentence following a deal in which he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and assault charges.
Coke, wearing a gray prison jumpsuit, sat stoically through most of Friday's proceedings in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, but spoke briefly before Judge Robert Patterson.
“I am a good person,” Coke said in asking the judge for consideration of what he said were the positive things he had done in his native Jamaica.
Patterson, however, chose to give Coke the maximum allowable sentence - 20 years on the trafficking charge and three on the assault - and have them run consecutively.
Coke's attorney, Stephen Rosen, said he was disappointed that Patterson did not allow the sentences to run concurrently, but added they would not appeal the sentence. Rosen estimated that Coke would be eligible for release around the time he is 60, and will be allowed then to return to Jamaica. - Reuters