NASSAU, Bahamas, Wednesday December 16, 2015 – After 11 years of fighting their extradition to the United States, eight Bahamians have been sent off to face drug trafficking charges.
The men – Sheldon Moore, Gordon Newbold, Bryan Deal, Wilfred Ferguson, Torrey Lockhart, Lyndon Deal, Melvin Maycock Sr, and Carl Culmer – were transported in two private planes to Florida on Monday, three days after the Court of Appeal denied their applications for leave to appeal the extradition order at the Privy Council.
They were eight of the 11 for whom the US sought extradition back in 2004. The Court of Appeal also denied the other three – Shanto Curry, Trevor Roberts and Devroy Moss – permission to appeal their extradition, but they are challenging the constitutionality of the composition of the Appeal Court and are to appear in the Supreme Court on January 14 next year on that matter, Nassau Guardian reported.
After the 11 lodged several challenges, the extradition order was approved by a magistrate in 2013 and affirmed by a High Court judge last year. The Court of Appeal then upheld the decision.
Welcoming the development, US Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Johnson said the Bahamian government and courts have sent a strong message that “those accused of crimes that jeopardize the safety of Bahamian citizens will not be allowed to hide from justice”.
“This extradition strikes a blow against organized crime and narcotics trafficking in The Bahamas. We commend this decision, which is evidence of the close and productive security partnership the United States shares with The Bahamas. We will continue to work in cooperation with The Bahamas to respond to the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations,” Johnson added.