“I am no snitch”Former local basketball executive Raffel Christopher Douglas,Cheap Jerseys, who was extradited from Trinidad to the United States almost three years ago,China Jerseys Wholesale, is back home after pleading guilty in the US on a drug conspiracy charge.In an interview with Kaieteur News yesterday, hours after his deportation to Guyana and following his processing at the Criminal Investigations Department, Eve Leary, Douglas said that he was forced to accept “a stupid” telephone conspiracy charge because he did not want to stay in the US any longer.According to US court papers, Douglas pleaded to one charge of using a telephone to conspire to “distribute cocaine in the Eastern District of New York, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 843 (b).”Following the guilty plea to the single conspiracy charge, US prosecutors agreed to drop other charges,Wholesale Cheap Jerseys, the court documents said.  His sentence was the 30 months he was in custody pending trial.Soon after his release into immigration custody,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, pending deportation, four US officials visited him and offered him another deal. He said that he refused to entertain their offer.Asked to comment on the approach, he said that there were three men and a woman, three of them prosecutors in the case involving Shaheed ‘Roger’Khan.Khan’s attorney, Robert Simels, later identified them. “Yes, he described them, Spanish agent, tall brunette –Petersen; short blonde –Jones; and recalled their names when I mentioned them,” Simels said to queries from Guyana. Douglas stressed that, almost two weeks ago, he was scheduled to be released after the plea agreement but was called to hearing with a Deportation Officer and three other officials. There, the visiting officials impressed on him that his life was in danger in Guyana and that there was a possibility of him staying and being protected in the US.“How could my life be in danger? Guyana is my country. Where did they get that from? They tried to hurt me; I fought them in Washington and they were forced to drop the charges against me. They then re-charged me and tried me in New York. I challenged them repeatedly and they could not provide any evidence against me. I had no intention to co-operate with them. They tried to hurt me and I was angry.”He said that he still cannot understand the offer. “I still can’t determine what was up.” He, however, did not rule out the possibility that the offer might have been tied to the Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan trial.At one time, the very charges they levelled against Khan they had levelled against Douglas. It was Mr. Simels, Douglas said,Wholesale Authentic China Jerseys, who pointed this out to Douglas’s lawyer and caused the authorities to drop those charges.“Roger Khan’s lawyer helped me because I was facing 30 to life. He spotted the irregularity and he brought it to light. I have to thank him.”Simels later visited Douglas while he was in immigration custody, and might have been instrumental in his early deportation.Douglas said that the authorities should have tried him on the charges on which they extradited him from Trinidad. In the end, they claimed that they lied to the judges in Trinidad.He said that frustration led to his plea to the telephone call.His return to Guyana was further delayed when these people then told him that Guyana had not cleared the process.Douglas said that he called the Guyana Embassy in New York and they said that it was “nonsense,” since all he needed was to prove that he was Douglas and he would have been sent home. He said that the Guyana Mission even issued him with a travel document.He noted that through his legal fight he had proven his innocence, and the US prosecutors had dropped the initial indictments and then re-charged him, adding two more counts, something that was highly irregular,Cheap Jerseys From China, since under US laws an accused could only be tried on that charge he/she was extradited on.“I asked them to produce evidence on my accusations. They had no such evidence.”According to Douglas, he was forced to either accept the plea bargain or be locked up for more than a year waiting for trial.Douglas, following the unveiling of a warrant from the United States seeking his arrest, fled the country and was subsequently arrested in Trinidad. After a brief hearing, during which the United States presented a case of probable cause, he was extradited.In January, his court-appointed lawyer, Daniel Felber of Andrew Greene and Associates, petitioned the court to have the indictments dismissed on a number of grounds, not least the recantation of a federal agent who had provided information used by the Government to support the extradition from Trinidad.The argument centred on “the outrageous Government conduct in securing the defendant’s custody.” It concluded that such conduct mandated the dismissal of the indictments.“Where suppression of evidence will not suffice, the Government must be denied the right to exploit its own illegal conduct,” the lawyer argued.“When an accused is brought within the jurisdiction under false and perjurious pretences, the Court’s acquisition of power over the defendant represents the fruits of the Government’s exploitation of its own misconduct.“Thus, having unlawfully seized the defendant, in violation of the Fourth Amendment which guarantees the right of people to be secure in their person against unreasonable seizures, the Government should as a matter of fundamental fairness be obligated to return the defendant to his status quo ante.”The accused had been indicted in connection with the shipment of 184 kilograms of cocaine, which was seized at JFK on September 21, 2003.An affidavit, sworn to by an agent named May and another named Patten, was said to be the basis of Douglas’s extradition.“May and Agent Patten testified at the hearing. Each contradicted the other with key elements of the Government’s extradition request, and resulted in material omissions regarding Douglas’s alleged involvement in criminal activity.”They subsequently recanted.The lawyers contended that the US Government never informed the Trinidad authorities that the agent had recanted his evidence on the seizure of 184 kilograms of cocaine at John F. Kennedy International Airport, on the evidence allegedly secured from a confidential informant and on the existence of records to corroborate the informant’s claims.In short, the agent could not support any of the evidence that led to the multiple charges that Douglas faced, the lawyer said. The argument was that, had this been made known to Trinidad, there would never have been an extradition.However, the judge refused to dismiss the case. The defence lawyer had by then written to the court seeking to be removed from the case. He was moving to another partnership and the Douglas trial was more or less a humbug, particularly since it was pro bono.Douglas said that this would have meant a further delay in the trial while he secured a new lawyer, perhaps pushing his trial to next year. He said that a new lawyer would have needed at least four months to study the files.He said that this threat of further delay prompted his decision to plead guilty to the simplest of charges.At the end of his sentencing, he would be placed into immigration custody for deportation. He could be home within months.

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