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Tag: Haiti

Former DEA Informant Among Suspects in Assassination of Haitian President

By Steve Neavling

A former DEA informant is a suspect in last week’s assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, the agency said. 

Joseph Gertland Vincent, 55, who was one of two Haitian-American men charged in the fatal attack, became an occasional DEA informant after he was arrested more than 20 years ago for filing false information on a U.S. passport application, The Miami Herald reports.

Another 26 Columbians also were charged in the attack. 

The DEA declined to confirm which of the two Americans arrested was the confidential informant. 

“At times, one of the suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was a confidential source to the DEA,” one DEA official said. “Following the assassination of President Moïse, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA.

“A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a U.S. State Department colleague, shared information with the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual.”

During the attack, one of the suspects shouted that they were executing a DEA raid. 

“DEA is aware of reports that President Moïse’s assassins yelled ‘DEA’ at the time of their attack. These individuals were not acting on behalf of DEA,” said the source.

Senior officials with the FBI and Homeland Security arrived in Haiti this week to lend a hand to the island nation.

FBI, Homeland Security to Help Haiti After Assassination of Its President

Haitian President Jovenal Moïse. Photo: Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

Senior officials with the FBI and Homeland Security are expected to arrive in Haiti soon to help the island nation following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenal Moïse. 

“The United States remains engaged and in close consultation with our Haitian and international partners to support the Haitian people in the aftermath of the assassination of the president,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, Reuters reports.

The officials will decide how to help after they arrive in Port-au-Prince, Psaki said. 

Moïse was fatally shot at his home in Port-au-Prince on July 7 by a team of commandos, leaving the county without a leader. 

The motive behind the attack remains elusive. 

Several Americans and Columbian nationals were arrested for their alleged role in the attack. 

Sen. Marco Rubio Joins Others in Call for IG to Investigate DEA’s Haiti Office

Sen. Marco Rubio

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Marco Rubio has joined the chorus of politicians calling for an investigation into the DEA’s Haiti office following allegations of potential whistle-blower retaliation and mishandling of personnel matters, the Miami Herald reports.

“Allegations of whistle-blower retaliation and personnel issues are extremely concerning and, if true, are counterproductive to the DEA’s critical mission in the Caribbean,” Rubio said in a letter his office sent on Wednesday to U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

In May, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the committee, wrote to Horowitz asking him to review the allegations. The committee, the letter said, had received information that raised questions about the effectiveness of the DEA’s drug investigations in Haiti, the Herald writes.

Lawmakers Concerned About Allegations of Misconduct in DEA’s Haiti Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is concerned about allegations of misconduct involving the DEA’s  Haiti office and the effectiveness of the office’s efforts to fight drugs in that country, the Miami Herald reports.

Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland have written to Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz requesting that he review allegations of potential mismanagement and misconduct in the Haiti office that has eight employees.

“Because of the seriousness of these allegations, we request that your office initiate a review,” the May 14 letter said.

The letter offers few specifics but raises serious concerns relating to the handling of personnel matters and whistleblower retaliation, among other things, the paper reports.

 

DEA Busts 2 Members of Venezuelan President’s Family in Alleged Drug-Smuggling Scheme

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, via Wikipedia.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has busted a drug-smuggling ring that led to the arrest of the Venezuelan president’s family in Haiti, UPI.com reports. 

Arrested were two nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores Freites are accused of trying to smuggle 1,700 pounds of cocaine from Haiti to the U.S.

The nephews tried to claim they had diplomatic immunity, a claim that didn’t work with the DEA.

They were taken to New York awaiting a court hearing today.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Raids Rural Indiana Home Where Man Collected Thousands of Rare Artifacts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI raided the property of a 91-year-old man in rural central Indiana where he stored thousands of artifacts from Native Americans, China, Russia and other countries.

Fox News reports that the massive collection by Donald Miller spanned eight decades and also included items from Australia, Haiti, New Guinea and Peru.

“The cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable,” Jones said while refusing to divulge details of any of the items taken from Miller’s property.

Miller said he obtained the items legally and traveled to each country to get them.

“I have been in 200 countries collecting artifacts,” he said.

It wasn’t clear whether he faces charges.

DEA Commando-Style Squads Operating Far Beyond the War Zone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s commando style squads that were established during the Bush years to battle Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan are operating in regions far beyond that war zone, field, according to the New York Times.

The Times reports that the DEA now has five commando-style squads that have been “quietly deploying for the past several years to Western Hemisphere nations — including Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize — that are battling drug cartels.”

“You have got to have special skills and equipment to be able to operate effectively and safely in environments like this,” said Michael A. Braun, a former head of operations for the drug agency who helped design the program, the Times reported. “The D.E.A. is working shoulder-to-shoulder in harm’s way with host-nation counterparts.”

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI Arrests Suburban Detroit Man Who Posed as Agent Collecting Money for Haiti

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There are those  who are trying to figure out how to help the folks in Haiti. And then there are those who are trying to figure out how scam the charity-minded people.

On Friday, the FBI arrested a suburban Detroit man who impersonated an FBI agent collecting money for Haiti, WDIV news in Detroit reported.

Authorities told WDIV that Kevin Balfour, 34, of Warren, Mi., flashed a gold badge with the letters “FBI” on it and “told people he might be deployed to Haiti and that he was collecting money to help the children.”

The station reported that he also used his FBI credentials to get free food and drinks from a local bar.

OTHER WEEKEND STORIES