Prosecutors said on Tuesday that United States police have detained four more people in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise. One of those arrested is the owner of a security company in the Miami region that hired former Colombian soldiers for the assignment.
Authorities claim that the planned attack in July 2021, which was initially envisioned to be a coup rather than an assassination, was carried out by a squad of former Colombian soldiers who are among the dozens of suspects who carried out the attack. According to the allegations made by the investigators, the conspirators’ ultimate goal was to secure lucrative contracts with the incoming administration once Moese had been removed from office.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Matthew G. Olsen, “this was both a human tragedy and an assault on key democratic norms.” 
Antonio “Tony” Intriago, 59, a Venezuelan-American who founded CTU Security and was responsible for hiring the Colombians, has been charged with multiple offenses, one of which is conspiracy to kill or abduct a person outside of the United States. Arcangel Pretel Ortiz, 50, a resident of the United States who was born in Colombia, is charged with the same crimes as the CTU corporate representative.
U.S. banker Walter Veintemilla, 54 years old and residing in Weston, Florida, is accused of providing financial support for the operation. Frederick Joseph Bergmann Jr., 64, of Tampa is the fourth person who is suspected of being involved in the smuggling of products, including 20 ballistic vests bearing the CTU trademark that were disguised as medical X-ray vests and school supplies.
Authorities say that people in the plot knew Intriago as “The General” and Pretel as “Colonel Gabriel.” The Associated Press was told by Veintemilla’s lawyer, Tama Kudman, that he would plead not guilty to both charges.
When the news came out that Mose had been killed, Claude Joseph, who was the prime minister at the time, cheered. “Justice must win,” he wrote on Twitter.
Eleven suspects are now in U.S. custody. James Solages and Joseph Vincent, two Haitian-Americans who were among the first people arrested after Mose was shot 12 times at his home in July 2021, are key players. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a pastor and failed businessman, is also a suspect. His friends think he was tricked by the plotters.
After the assassination, there was a power vacuum in Haiti, which gave gangs more power and control over more land. Experts say that they now control about 60% of Port-au-Prince. Prime Minister Ariel Henry has asked for foreign troops to be sent right away because there have been more kidnappings, rapes, and murders. But the U.N. Security Council did not pay attention to the request in October. Instead, it has chosen to put sanctions in place.
The federal government said that Veintemilla’s company, Worldwide Capital Lending Group, gave CTU a line of credit for $175,000 in April 2021.
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“By that time, the men planned to foment a public uprising aimed at ousting President Moise and installing Sanon as president,” charging documents say.
Authorities said that Intriago, Ortiz, and Veintemilla expected to “make a lot of money” if Sanon was elected president through contracts for building infrastructure, buying military equipment, and hiring security forces.
Also in April, Ortiz and other people met with the FBI and tried, but failed, to get them to talk about “changing the government in Haiti.”
Around that time, Ortiz told Solages, “The current president is the thief. Delete the messages that could put you in danger if you were to be caught.” Court documents show that Ortiz also sent a photo of a whiteboard sketch of an attack plan with “snipers” and “10 warrior-neutralizers” to another suspect, Colombian citizen Germán Rivera Garca. This plan included “snipers” and “10 warrior-neutralizers.”
The suspects used code words like “screws” and “nails” to talk about ammunition and “tools” or “instruments” to talk about guns. Authorities say Veintemilla gave Solages $15,000 to buy ammunition and $250,000 for armored vests.
Authorities have said that the original plan was to arrest Mose, force him onto a plane, and take him to an unknown location. However, court documents show that this plan fell apart when the suspects couldn’t find a plane or enough weapons.
Sanon, who saw himself as Haiti’s new leader, was supposed to take over, but some suspects soon backed an ex-Haitian Supreme Court judge instead. Court documents say that Ortiz, Intriago, Veintemilla, and others knew that Sanon did not meet the constitutional requirements or have the support of the Haitian people to become president. Police say that the judge is still on the run.
A day before the murder, Solages told other suspects that it was a CIA operation and that the real goal was to kill the president. Solages yelled that it was a DEA operation right before Mose was killed so that the president’s security detail would do what he said.
Former Haitian Senator John Jol Joseph, who had fled to Jamaica, and Rodolphe Jaar, a Haitian businessman who used to work for the U.S. government and was extradited from the Dominican Republic, are also being held.
As the investigation in the U.S. moves forward, the investigation in Haiti is almost done. Three judges quit the case because they were afraid of being punished, and a fourth judge was fired. Meanwhile, none of the more than 40 suspects who were arrested in Haiti have been brought before a judge yet. Many of them, including 18 Colombian soldiers, are being held in an overcrowded jail in Port-au-Prince that often runs out of food and water.
Martine Mose, the widow of the president, is angry and upset about the situation. She blew up in a 13-minute video she posted earlier this month, saying that things have gotten worse in Haiti since her husband was killed.
“It’s a huge crime that happened against the nation,” she said. “Where is the mother law of the country, where are the people, where is the democracy?”
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