Former US Drug Enforcement Agent Sentenced to Life for Role in Assassination of Haiti’s President

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Suspects in the assination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise.

In a significant development related to the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise, a former US government drug enforcement agent has been sentenced to life in prison by a Miami court. Haitian-American Joseph Vincent, 58, received the sentence following his guilty plea for participating in the plot against the late president.

Before receiving his life sentence, Vincent expressed remorse in court, stating, “Please forgive me for what I did.” The assassination, which took place at Moise’s residence in Port-au-Prince in 2021, shocked the nation and the international community.

Vincent, who previously worked for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is the fourth of 11 defendants in the Miami federal case to be sentenced for their roles in the murder plot. The trial is being held in Florida due to the US Justice Department’s determination that the plot’s planning in South Florida placed it within their jurisdiction.

During the trial, it was revealed that Vincent had discussed the assassination plot and had accompanied co-conspirators to Moise’s home in July 2021. His involvement extended to advising on Haitian politics, meeting with local leaders, and encouraging protests against Moise to facilitate an overthrow, according to reports by AFP.

Vincent also attempted to mislead others into believing he was acting on behalf of the US government by wearing a US State Department pin, although the DEA clarified he was not acting under its authority. Haiti’s ambassador to the US, Bocchit Edmond, emphasized that US drug agents were not behind the attack, describing the assailants as “professional mercenaries.”

Court documents revealed that the initial plan was to kidnap President Moise, which later escalated to assassination. Additionally, another suspect, Frederick Joseph Bergmann Jr., pleaded guilty to submitting false or misleading export information related to smuggling ballistic vests as part of the assassination plot.

Among those accused are Colombian ex-soldiers and businessmen, implicated in supplying funds or weapons and executing the attack. Despite 17 arrests in Haiti for Moise’s murder, as reported by the Miami Herald, formal charges have yet to be made.

Since President Moise’s assassination, Haiti has been without a president, leading to political instability and a surge in gang violence. The United Nations reported that January was the most violent month in Haiti in over two years, with approximately 1,100 people killed, injured, or kidnapped.

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