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HomeNewsLocal newsPickering Maynard To Testify In Fahie Cocaine Trial

Pickering Maynard To Testify In Fahie Cocaine Trial

Prosecutors revealed evidence in the upcoming trial of former BVI Premier Andrew Fahie, photographed here in an August 2020 briefing addressing rumors of government infighting. (Photo courtesy of BVI GIS)

Disgraced former British Virgin Islands Ports Authority Director Oleanvine Pickering Maynard will take the stand in the Miami cocaine smuggling trial of former BVI Premier Andrew Fahie in January. Court documents filed Wednesday also detailed some evidence to be used against Fahie.

Fahie and Pickering Maynard allegedly made a deal with informants posing as drug runners working for South American narcotics cartels and Hezbollah, which the United States lists as a terrorist group, to make the BVI a major transshipment point for cocaine and potentially weapons bound for the U.S. mainland. Fahie and Pickering Maynard were arrested on April 28, 2022, after inspecting what they allegedly believed to be a $900,000 cash down payment aboard a private aircraft at Opa Locka airport in Miami. It’s the same airport notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar frequently used for cocaine shipments in the 1980s, according to Escobar’s son’s biography.

Federal agents began recording phone calls about the alleged BVI smuggling plan in October 2021, according to court records. Prosecutors would eventually amass more than 8,000 minutes of tape recordings of phone calls and in-person meetings in the case, as well as extensive data from Fahie’s mobile phone, including WhatsApp messages.

At trial, prosecutors plan to play recordings starting on March 20, 2022.

Although they adopted code names for the alleged scheme, both Fahie and Pickering Maynard appear to have used their usual mobile phone numbers in conversation with undercover agents, according to court records. It was unclear if the numbers were personal lines or issued by the BVI government, but Fahie had used the number since at least 2014. BVI government documents list another number used in the alleged scheme as belonging to the Deputy Managing Director of the Ports Authority, a position Pickering Maynard once held. A call to Fahie’s cellphone was not answered.

Prosecutors also plan to show jurors surveillance video from an Embassy Suites hotel near the Opa Locka airport, about six miles north of Miami International Airport.

Pickering Maynard is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 18 after pleading guilty in June of this year to a single count of conspiracy to import more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. Her son, Kadeem Maynard, pleaded guilty as well and was sentenced to 57 months in prison in November. Both promised to tell federal prosecutors everything they knew about the proposed smuggling operation, according to court records.

Fahie has been largely confined to his daughter’s Miami apartment since he was released on bail in June 2022. He faces charges of conspiracy to import a controlled substance (cocaine), conspiracy to engage in money laundering, attempted money laundering, and foreign travel in aid of racketeering. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

The Miami court amended bail requirements for Fahie Wednesday, allowing his wife, Sheila Fahie, to visit for the holidays without surrendering her passport as previously required.

The U.S. and BVI governments had investigated both Fahies in 2003 for potentially smuggling undeclared cash from the BVI into Miami by evading customs requirements. International travelers to the United States carrying more than $10,000 must list it on their Customs Declaration Form. The Fahies allegedly used couriers to carry $9,000 each, then give it back in Miami. They repeated this at least once more and also sent themselves money via Western Union, court records show investigators alleged.

Neither Sheila nor Andrew Fahie were charged with the alleged 2002 and 2003 crimes, however.

In an interview with the Road Town-based BVI Beacon before the 2019 election, Fahie reportedly said the 2003 investigation was a political attack. Fahie would win the election and be elevated to Premier that year.

In addition to Picking Maynard, three Drug Enforcement Administration officers and two Customs and Border Protection officers are scheduled to testify in Fahie’s Jan. 8 trial. Fahie had asked several times to know the identity of the confidential government informants before trial. Kadeem Maynard was not on the witness list.

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