New York Post, Michel Maddux, September 22, 2011
Maria Alleyne, charged along with her son in a drug-ring conspiracy, hired a witch doctor to hex prosecutors, feds say.
Maria Alleyne flew to Africa, where she hired a shaman to put a voodoo curse on two Brooklyn federal prosecutors handling her son’s case, officials said.
“Alleyne later admitted . . . that she had traveled to Africa to pay an individual to place a ‘hex’ in the form of a witch doctor’s curse on the assistant US attorneys,” the feds said in a court filing.
The curse plot was uncovered when US Customs and Border Protection officers stopped Alleyne on her return from Africa and found photographs of the two prosecutors among her belongings, officials said. Initially, law-enforcement authorities believed the pictures were part of a conspiracy to target the prosecutors for assassination, sources said.
One of the photos appeared to have been surreptitiously snapped outside the Brooklyn federal courthouse.
Federal investigators launched a probe into a possible hit plot, but eventually concluded that Alleyne had sought out a more mystical way to protect her son — she was hoping that evil spirits would somehow curse the prosecutors preparing their case for trial.
Alleyne confessed about her voodoo venture, and gave investigators details about her plan “with an attorney present,” according to documents and sources.
Alleyne was not charged for her witch doctor’s call, because such religious or spiritual beliefs are protected by the Constitution.
But Alleyne does face criminal charges that she helped launder drug money for her son and ran “front” shoe stores in both Brooklyn and Barbados to disguise illegal proceeds, officials say.
Both Bourne and Alleyne maintain their innocence, and their trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Brooklyn federal court.