Feds have over 8,000 minutes of Fahie-Case audio

Kadeem Maynard, Andrew Fahie and Oleanvine Pickering-Maynard have been charged over alleged brazen plans to import cocaine via the British Virgin Islands into the US mainland. (Photo illustration: Source VI)

Federal prosecutors in Florida this week shared more than 8,000 minutes of audiotaped evidence with lawyers for former British Virgin Islands premier Andrew Fahie, according to court documents.

Fahie is said to be heard in the archives bragging about decades of crime, including aiding smugglers and paying international agents for unsavory political favors to the BVI. Prosecutors said Fahie named a well-known drug dealer as a good friend and sometimes business partner.

Court documents allege Fahie’s co-defendants were also brazen.

While helping build a plan with Fahie to use Tortola as a transit point for thousands of kilograms of cocaine bound for the continental United States, Kadeem Stephen Maynard reportedly entered into a side deal to receive 60 kilograms for himself each week, it said. US prosecutors. That meant he had the experience and contacts to easily distribute large amounts of narcotics – more than 132 pounds a week – a Florida judge said.

Prosecutors said Maynard lived a life of privilege, with a boat and access to a private plane. Listed on BVI voter forms as self-employed, Maynard, 31, allegedly told an informant that he had been dealing drugs for 20 years. Maynard even allegedly told an informant that he had evidence against Fahie.

He was arrested in St. Thomas on April 28 while on a trip to arrange his first cocaine delivery, as well as recover a satellite phone and $30,000 in bribes, prosecutors said.

On the same day, Fahie, 51, and Maynard’s mother, Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Oleanvine Pickering-Maynard, 60, were arrested in Miami – where they were attending a ship industry conference cruise ship and allegedly inspected the drug money. All three have been charged with drug trafficking and money laundering which could lead to life in prison in the United States.

Oleanvine Pickering-Maynard ran for public office in 2015. (Photo: Facebook)

Pickering-Maynard and her son remain in federal custody in Miami, while Fahie is free on $100 million bail, confined to her daughters’ apartment in Florida and under 24/7 GPS surveillance.

In addition to the audio recordings, prosecutors provided defense attorneys with phone recordings, WhatsApp data, Puerto Rico law enforcement reports and bank statements. Prosecutors also extracted “voluminous” videos and other data from the defendants’ phones, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said Fahie and Pickering-Maynard allegedly bragged about having a well-oiled smuggling and money laundering machine at their disposal, bribing island authorities and forming shell companies to hide illegal activity.

Fahie was frustrated, according to prosecutors, that he was not paid well enough for his wrongful acts. At one point, he also allegedly offered to use his connections to supply firearms.

Prosecutors have yet to release details of who Fahie spoke about on the tapes. On the list of bribes, according to court documents, were police, port authority personnel and at least one senior BVI government official.

The UK Commission of Inquiry report, published shortly after the arrests, alleges widespread potential corruption in the British Overseas Territory – so much so that the auditors recommended suspending the constitution and dismiss elected officials.

But the published report did not name the perpetrators, saying only that further investigation was needed.

Court records and local news reports show a web of interconnections in the islands’ intertwined population of influence.

June 1, 2011, 20-year-old Kadeem Maynard threw a baseball bat at high school students, preventing them from leaving campus. He and Petranella Frett, an officer with the Royal British Virgin Islands Police, had been on their way to school when Frett’s daughter claimed her phone had been stolen. Contemporary news reports show adults rummaging through students’ belongings until the students protest. Frett started swearing, and Maynard got the gun. Maynard was fined $2,000 and Constable Frett received, eight years later, the First clasp to the Overseas Territories Police Forces Medal for seniority and good conduct for 25 years.

Petranella Frett, constable of the Royal British Virgin Islands Police, scared schoolchildren with Kadeem Maynard. (Picture: Linkedin)

There are almost no reports of Pickering-Maynard prior to his arrest with Fahie. She ran unsuccessfully for public office in 2015. As of 2020 voting records, she and her son lived in Greenland, East End, Tortola, not far from Frett. She worked in the direction of the BVI Ports Authority with Vice President Roxanne Sylvester, a name that appears in bond documents after Fahie’s arrest.

When Albion Hodge posted $500,000 to help free Fahie in June, the US and BVI businessman had to convince the Florida judge that the money was not obtained by a criminal enterprise. Hodge, who runs a ferry service, said, without further explanation, that he was not now nor had he ever been married to Roxanne Sylvester. Hodge also said he was not Alvin Hodge’s brother – explaining in court that Hodge was simply a very common BVI surname.

Albion and Alvin Hodge were no strangers, however. In 2002, authorities in the United States and the British Virgin Islands began investigating questionable telecommunications contracts in connection with the construction of Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.

A new company created by the Hodges, B&A Networking Services, was awarded a telecommunications contract despite having no experience or expertise in the field, investigators said. B&A Networking Services used a Banco Popular account in Tortola to raise nearly $1.8 million, according to court records. It was the same branch in which Sheila Fahie, wife of Andrew Fahie, worked, investigators said.

Investigators alleged that the Road Town branch was a central part of the scheme.

Andrew Fahie, then 33-year-old BVI Minister of Education and Culture, and his wife reportedly began receiving money from the B&A Network Services account and routing it to Miami in a way that avoids to be detected.

Prosecutors said that in May 2001, the minister asked B&A Network Services to write a check for $70,000 to a company called ADD Services, which was asking for a $50,000 loan. The additional $20,000 was returned to Fahie, according to court documents. ADD Services deposited the check into their Banco Popular account on May 28, 2001, and on the same day withdrew $20,000, which was returned to Fahie, court records show, investigators said.

A month later, according to prosecutors, two more withdrawals of $10,000 came from the ADD Services account and were delivered to Fahie. In February 2002, he allegedly arranged for Sheila Fahie to donate $50,000 to an ADD Services sister company, Crescent, for an investment that benefited an ADD Services executive.

Although court records do not explain exactly how the alleged scheme worked, they do show that investigators claimed in April 2002, when BVI police began making arrests, that the Fahies were smuggling money quietly on the American continent.

International travelers to the United States carrying more than $10,000 must indicate this on their customs declaration form. The Fahies allegedly used couriers to transport $9,000 each and then returned them to Miami. They repeated that in June and also sent money to each other through Western Union, court records show, investigators said.

In October 2003, the US government began investigating the Fahies for money laundering.

On January 19, 2004, Albion Hodge, Bevis Sylvester – a Budget Coordinator – Berton Smith – a BVI Government Telephone Services Officer – and Ludwis Allen Wheatley – the BVI Financial Secretary from 1998 until his suspension from office in March 2002 – were sentenced after having pleaded guilty in a BVI court for deceptive marketing practices and related offences. Hodge and Sylvester were sentenced to 6 months and a fine. Wheatley and Smith were sentenced to 9 months in prison and fined.

In 2006, Wheatley and his business partner Wesley Penn lost an appeal to the UK Privy Council over their 2003 airport-related bribery convictions. Wheatley had awarded contracts to Penn’s P&W Heavy Equipment and Accurate Construction, a company in which Wheatley had an undisclosed interest. It was unclear if P&W was meant to stand for “Penn and Wheatley”.

It was also unclear if the investigation into the Fahies was continuing, if they had ever been arrested prior to the alleged cocaine smuggling plot, or if charges were ever brought against Alvin Hodge, who continued to receiving government contracts long after the B&A Network Services incident. A 2008 BVI Auditor General’s report stated that Hodge had received $55,871.03 for road paving, fencing, and trench cleaning. The report begins with the motto “Towards Greater Accountability”.

Pickering-Maynard had served as the Port Authority’s chief executive since March 2021 after serving as deputy chief executive from 2019. In 2015, she launched her unsuccessful bid to oust Kedrick Pickering, who represented Tortola’s 7th District. She called herself the candidate for reform and action.

In their testimony against Pickering-Maynard in the alleged cocaine smuggling conspiracy, US prosecutors quoted an unnamed suspected international drug trafficker as saying he “possessed” her.

In a 2015 social media campaign post, Pickering-Maynard said what people do behind closed doors represents their authentic selves.

“They say a person’s true character shines through in those moments when no one is looking; when they feel comfortable enough to say what they want,” she wrote.

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