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USA: weapons seized and people arrested for smuggling to…Hati

  • June 3, 2024
  • 4 Min
  • 8

The US government announced Friday the seizure of more than 140 firearms and the indictment of 13 people suspected of buying, selling illegally and smuggling weapons to several countries, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela and Colombia.

Markenzy Lapointe, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, noted that illegal firearms often end up in the hands of criminals, gang members and other violent offenders. Some of these weapons end up in countries in our hemisphere, he said.

Accusations et suspects

The Justice Department charged Hiledin Quintero Martínez, also known as Mily Álvarez, 36, with four counts of conspiracy to send 10 firearms to Venezuela and Colombia between June 2020 and January 2021.

Samuel Pierre, 34, and Reginald Louis Chosson, 28, were charged with conspiracy to acquire firearms by false representation and smuggling weapons and ammunition from Miami to Haiti.

Ronald Zapete, 39, and Amanda Roden, 31, are charged with purchasing firearms in Dania Beach, Florida, and shipping three of the guns to the Dominican Republic without a permit.

Jamaal Calloway, 41, was charged with selling and purchasing firearms without a license, including pistols, rifles, at least 70 submachine guns and approximately 39 devices allowing the conversion of semi-automatic weapons into firearms. repeated firing.

Others have been charged with illegally acquiring or selling firearms and smuggling weapons to Jamaica, the Bahamas and St. Maarten, according to the Justice Department.

Recall that, according to the last rapport of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on illegal arms trafficking in Haiti, an increase in the trafficking of increasingly sophisticated weapons has been noted since 2021. From Russian AK-47s to From American-made AR15s to Israeli Galil assault rifles, these weapons are fueling widespread violence, marked by attacks, mass looting and kidnappings.

Some Haitian gangs now have larger arsenals than the police, making the situation even more difficult to control. Efforts to stem arms trafficking are being hampered by gangs’ expanding control over strategic points such as ports and roads, UN experts say.

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Ravensley Boisrond