(Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors have indicted three Haitians and one U.S. citizen for conspiring to smuggle arms to Haiti’s 400 Mawozo gang, which last year kidnapped a group of missionaries from the United States and Canada.
The indictment by U.S. attorneys for the District of Columbia alleges that the four people, including extradited 400 Mawozo leader Joly “Yonyon” Germine, conspired to violate export control laws, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Eliande Tunis, 43, a U.S. citizen, as well as Haitian citizens Jocelyn Dor, 29, and Walder St. Louis, 33, were also named as part of the conspiracy. Haiti’s police on Tuesday said Germine had been extradited to the United States.
Tunis, Dor, and St. Louis were apprehended in Florida in October and November 2021 and are being detained pending trial after pleading not guilty, the DOJ said in a statement.
The indictment alleges that from at least September through November 2021, Germine, Tunis, Dor, and St. Louis conspired to acquire and supply firearms and munitions to members of the 400 Mawozo gang, according to the statement.
Reuters was unable to obtain comment from the defendants.
Haiti has seen a vast expansion of the power of gangs since the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
During the last two weeks, gun battles between 400 Mawozo and the rival Chen Mechan gang have forced businesses in Haiti to close and thousands of people to leave their homes.
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Chris Reese)