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Former Haitian Rebel Turned Politician Extradited, Appears In Court

FLORIDA  –  The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) of the Southern District of Florida has released the charges against Guy Philippe, the former Haitian rebel turned politician, who was arrested Thursday afternoon in Port Au Prince and extradited a few hours later.

Philippe, 48, was indicted in 2005 on one count of conspiracy to import narcotics; one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and engage in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity and one substantive count of engaging in monetary transactions derived from unlawful activity.

Philippe, who was elected as a Senator in the November 20 legislative elections in Haiti, was ordered held without bond during an initial hearing before US Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber of the Southern District of Florida.

Philippe’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for January 13, 2017.

According to the indictment, from approximately 1997 through 2001, Philippe conspired with others to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States.

The indictment also alleges that between June 1999 and April 2003, Philippe also allegedly conspired with others to engage in money laundering to conceal their participation in criminal activity, including narcotics trafficking.

The indictment alleges that in 2000, Philippe transferred a US$112,000 cheque through a financial institution, affecting interstate and foreign commerce, that included monies derived from the illicit drug trafficking enterprise.

An indictment is merely an allegation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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