Nigerian 'Witch Doctor' Sentenced to 14 Years for Helping Drug Cartels

By McCarton Ackerman 07/10/15

Christopher Omigie provided supernatural protection for two cartel drug smugglers.

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A Louisiana man who provided supernatural protection for drug traffickers was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, according to U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

Christopher Omigie, a Nigerian native and naturalized U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty on Oct. 28, 2014 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Omigie was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide supernatural protection for drug traffickers in the Cesar Barrera and David Bazan drug trafficking organizations.

Omigie presented himself as a witch doctor, providing services that “involved card readings, massages with magic ointments, cutting of the skin with razor blades and the topical application of magic powder, the use of magic amulets, magic belts, magic coconuts, and magic rocks (that those being treated were required to talk to,” and magic “law stay away” candles burned to deflect law enforcement detection, according to a Justice Department press release.

Omigie would instruct the drug traffickers to go without bathing and intercourse for a period of time following the magic treatments to ensure maximum potency. The drug traffickers, who consulted with Omigie on a daily basis, even paid for Omigie to regularly return to Africa to renew his supernatural powers.

Ultimately, Omigie’s ministrations failed. Both Cesar Barrera and David Bazan have pleaded guilty to schemes involving the trafficking of more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine each.

Omigie’s attorney contends his client had a “minimal” role in the drug scheme and that his sentence is “greatly out of proportion.”

“While Mr. Omigie was involved in this drug scheme, he was not a major figure in this, and in fact his involvement was extremely limited and minor,” attorney Jonathan D. Goins said in an email, Courthouse News reports.

“Mr. Omigie is a Nigerian tribal chief, a title he inherited from his father, and he is a native doctor. The term ‘witch doctor’ is both pejorative and wrong,” Goins said.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.