The premier of the British Virgin Islands will plead not guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering charges, his lawyer said.
Andrew Fahie, 51, who is accused of agreeing to help a federal informant posing as a cartel member smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine through the territory to the United States, will deny the allegations against him, attorney Theresa Van Vliet indicated Wednesday, as reported by the BBC.
Fahie was released from detention on Thursday on a $500,000 bond, ruled Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He will be confined to his residence with his wife and two daughters under GPS monitoring.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS PREMIER DETAINED IN MIAMI ON DRUG TRAFFICKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
Fahie was arrested last month in Florida, following a government sting operation, which allegedly found that he laundered "millions of dollars in drug proceeds from the U.S. to the BVI," according to court documents. He is also accused of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to allow the "safe passage of cocaine" through the British Virgin Islands.
As the elected head of government of the British Virgin Islands, Fahie sought to invoke immunity from arrest and detention on Monday, though U.S. Attorney Juan Gonzalez denied the claim because the U.S. government "does not recognize the British Virgin Islands as a sovereign state," per a court filing.
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Fahie's arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 25, when he will enter his plea.