Haiti – Politic: Guy Philippe sentenced to 9 months in prison


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Guy PhilippeThe elected Senator of Grand’Anse, Guy Philippe was sentenced to 9 years in prison after having pleaded guilty to the charges of money laundering and illicit drug trafficking against him. Apprehended last January and brought to the United States, the former police commissioner initially pleaded not guilty to the alleged acts.

Under a judicial agreement, Guy Philippe avoided life imprisonment for drug trafficking. Guy Philippe did not say a word when reading his sentence. His lawyers described the sentence as a good compromise, with the most serious charges being dropped. Defense lawyer Zeljka Bozanic said the agreement did not provide the cooperation of his client targeting Haitian officials, unlike a rumor circulating in Haiti.

Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division; Matthew G. Donahue, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, Caribbean Division; and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Guy Philippe, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga of the Southern District of Florida, after having previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering stemming from his receipt of cash payments derived from the proceeds of narcotics sales that occurred in Miami, Florida and elsewhere in the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s. According to admissions made in connection with the plea, beginning in the late 1990s, Guy Philippe knowingly using his position as a high-ranking Haitian National Police Officer to provide protection for the shipments of drugs and drug proceeds arriving into Haiti in exchange for cash payments. Guy Philippe admitted that from approximately June 1999 to April 2003, he received between $1.5 and $3.5 million in bribes from drug traffickers, knowing that the payments he received constituted proceeds of cocaine sales that occurred in Miami, Florida, and elsewhere in the United States. Guy Philippe also admitted that he shared a portion of these payments with Haitian National Police officials and other security personnel to ensure their continued support for future drug shipments arriving into Haiti. Guy Philippe used these payments to purchase a residence in Broward County, Florida; and to support himself and to support his family in the United States.

In addition, Guy Philippe wired proceeds derived from the sale of cocaine, in the amount of $376,000, from banks in Haiti and Ecuador to a joint bank account in Miami. To avoid detection, Guy Philippe used the names of others to wire the funds to his account. Philippe further admitted that he arranged for over $70,000 in drug proceeds to be deposited into his account that were conducted in a series of deposits each less than $10,000 to avoid the U.S. federal reporting requirements.

The DEA and IRS-CI investigated the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, DEA Port-au-Prince Country Office, Caribbean Field Division, U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and Enforcement and Removal Operations, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Miami Office of Field Operations provided assistance in this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lynn M. Kirkpatrick and Andy R. Camacho of the Southern District of Florida and Senior Trial Counsel Mark A. Irish of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section prosecuted this case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal partners commend the Government of Haiti, including the Ministry of Justice, Haitian National Police, and La Brigade de Lutte contre le Trafic de Stupéfiants (BLTS) for upholding the rule of law and assisting U.S. counterparts.

This post is also available in: frFrançais (French)


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