Diaspora

4 charged with weapons trafficking in support of gang that claimed responsibility for kidnapping missionaries in Haiti – CBS News

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By Jordan Freiman
May 4, 2022 / 7:51 PM / CBS News
Three Haitian nationals and one U.S. citizen are facing weapons trafficking charges for allegedly smuggling firearms and ammunition to Haiti for the 400 Mawozo gang. The gang claimed responsibility last year for kidnapping a group of missionaries.
Joly “Yonyon” Germine, 29, Eliande Tunis, 43, Jocelyn Dor, 29, and Walder St. Louis, 33, are charged with smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. Germine, Dor and St. Louis are Haitian nationals and Tunis is a U.S. citizen. Tunis, Dor and St. Louis all reside in Florida. Germine has been imprisoned in Haiti since 2018, the Justice Department said, but, according to an indictment from last year that was unsealed Wednesday, he has been running the 400 Mawozo gang from prison using “unmonitored” cell phones. He was transferred to U.S. custody on Tuesday, the Justice Department said. 
Tunis, Dor and St. Louis were apprehended in Florida in October and November 2021. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
According to the indictment, from at least September to November 2021, Germine allegedly instructed the other three to purchase multiple firearms, including rifles, shotguns and pistols, to send to Haiti for use by the 400 Mawozo gang. Both Dor and St. Louis have conceal carry permits in Florida.
The three allegedly shipped the weapons and ammunition back to Haiti, concealing them in shipping barrels with other items like “clothes, shoes, and Gatorade.” 
The indictment also alleges that Germine had been in contact with a man referred to as Individual 2, who is described in the indictment as a “Haitian national and a leader of 400 Mawozo.” According to the indictment, Individual 2 claimed responsibility for the October 2021 kidnapping of 16 U.S. citizens, including five children, and one Canadian citizen who were in Haiti performing missionary work for Christian Aid Ministries.
“Individual 2 would instruct Germine regarding the types of firearms that 400 Mawozo needed,” the indictment alleged, adding that “Tunis, Dor and St. Louis obtained from Germine specifications for weapons and ammunition that Germine and Individual 2 wanted to be sent to Haiti for use by 400 Mawozo.”
The gang had asked for a $1 million ransom for each of the hostages, the indictment said. Two hostages were freed in November and three more were released in early December. The remaining 12 were released later in December. It was not clear how their releases were secured or if a ransom was paid.
First published on May 4, 2022 / 7:51 PM
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