Alleged Jamaican drug lord surrenders: reports

Reputed gang leader Christopher (Dudus) Coke surrendered to authorities outside Jamaica's capital of Kingston on Tuesday, according to reports in local news media.

Reputed gang leader Christopher (Dudus) Coke, who eluded a bloody police offensive in his slum stronghold last month, surrendered to authorities outside Jamaica's capital Tuesday, according to local news media.

Coke has been called one of the world's most dangerous drug lords by U.S. authorities and faces trial in New York on drug and arms trafficking charges.

One Jamaican newspaper said Coke is prepared to waive his right to an extradition hearing.

His surrender came nearly a month after 76 people were killed during a four-day assault by Jamaican police and soldiers on the West Kingston slum of Tivoli Gardens, which is Coke's base.

Also known as "President" to the people of his slum, Coke served as a community leader and enforcer in the gritty neighbourhood, an area the government acknowledges it has long neglected.

The Jamaica Observer newspaper said Coke walked into a police station in St. Catherine parish Tuesday afternoon accompanied by Rev. Al Miller, an evangelical preacher who facilitated the surrender of the fugitive's brother earlier in June.

The Spanish Town police station where Coke is reportedly being held is surrounded by heavily armed security forces, according to news reports.

Miller and police commanders did not immediately respond to calls from The Associated Press.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, whose Jamaica Labour Party has long counted on the support of gunmen inside Coke's Tivoli Gardens slum, opposed the extradition request for nine months before reversing his decision under growing public pressure that threatened his political career.

Coke is wanted in New York on charges that he trafficked cocaine and marijuana as well as weapons between his Caribbean island and the United States.

In recent days, Jamaica's government had offered a $60,000 reward for information leading to Coke's arrest.