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Four more Moïse assassination defendants are brought from Haiti to face charges in Miami

Haitian-American Christian Emmanuel Sanon of Florida, arrested in Haiti as the alleged mastermind of the plot that resulted in Haitian President Jovenel Moise's 2021 assassination, and one of four defendants transferred to U.S. custody in Miami on Tuesday.

Four more persons arrested in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse were transferred to U.S. custody on Tuesday to face trial in Miami.

Three of them are Haitian-Americans: James Solages, Joseph Vincent and Christian Sanon. The fourth is Germán Rivera, a Colombian.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami said Solages, Vincent and Rivera are directly charged with conspiring in Florida to commit crimes — including Moïse’s abduction — that led to his brutal murder in Port-au-Prince on July 7, 2021.

Their first court appearance is Wednesday at 2 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes in Miami.

Sanon, often described as the plot's alleged mastermind who had his own ambitions to be Haiti's president, is separately charged with illegally smuggling goods to Haiti as part of the operation. Those included equipment for a group of Colombian mercenaries he’d allegedly helped assemble to join Solages, Vincent and other Haitian conspirators.

According to the U.S. Attorney's statement, it was Solages who announced to those involved that the mission had morphed into killing instead of kidnapping Moïse.

Markenzy Lapointe, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced the charges. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations led the investigation of the case.

Three other persons arrested in the Moïse murder — Haitians Rodolphe Jaar and Joseph Joel John, and Colombian mercenary Mario Palacios — were transferred from Haiti to U.S. custody in Miami last year. They face similar conspiracy charges.

Solages, Vincent and Rivera face life in prison if convicted; Sanon faces 20 years.

Since Moïse’s assassination, Haiti has plunged into political chaos and a virtual gang takeover of the country, as well as deeper economic crisis.

Legal experts say the defendants are being transferred to U.S. custody for trial because Haiti's own judicial system has all but collapsed in the chaos.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.