Guy Philippe's Official Charges Released By United States

While conducting a live interview, Guy Philippe found himself at the mercy of Haitian law enforcement. Philippe was wanted in the United States.

Guy was taking part in a live talk show in Haiti's capital, Port au Prince. Sometime during the segment, Philippe's interview was interrupted by Haitian law enforcement officials who were seeking his arrest.

According to BBC, Guy Philippe was recently elected as a senator of the Grand'Anse district during the November elections. However, Philippe hadn't started his office yet. And, it seems Philippe might not get to at all.

According to the United States Attorney's Office (USAO) -- Southern District of Florida -- Guy Philippe has been wanted by the U.S. since 2005. That's actually the time when Philippe was indicted on multiple charges of drug-related offenses on U.S. soil.

On January 6, the following individuals and agencies came together in the official public release of Guy's charges:

  • Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida
  • Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division
  • Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge
  • United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division
  • Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office.

Guy Philippe's Charges

Since 2005's indictment, Guy has pretty much been in hiding. BBC reports that Guy Philippe had been living in a secluded mountainous area in south Haiti.

However, it seems that his election brought unwanted attention to himself. The Jamaican Observer says Guy was arrested on Thursday, January 5.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Guy Philippe is currently being held without bond on the following charges:

  1. one count of conspiracy to import narcotics
  2. one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and engage in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity
  3. one substantive count of engaging in monetary transactions derived from unlawful activity.
Interestingly enough, while living off the grid, he noted that he had no money in any banks — as notes BBC in 2004. Yet, the U.S. Attorney's Office mentions the following statements regarding Guy Philippe's situation.
"The indictment alleges that in 2000, Philippe transferred a $112,000 check through a financial institution, affecting interstate and foreign commerce, that included monies derived from the illicit drug trafficking enterprise."
The source reports that Guy Philippe's initial hearing was in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber of the Southern District of Florida, and Guy's arraignment is set to commence on Friday, January 13.

The source reads that multiple international agencies worked together to apprehend Guy Philippe. Some of these organizations are listed below:

  • The Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs
  • U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Miami Office of Field Operations
  • the Haitian Ministry of Justice
  • Haitian National Police
  • La Brigade de Lutte contre le Trafic de Stupéfiants (BLTS).

Honestly, What Was Guy Philippe Really Thinking?

This guy tested the waters a bit. If Philippe knew the United States government was looking for him, what would make him think it'd be okay to run for the Haitian senate?
There's no statue of limitations on these types of charges. Is it possible Guy Philippe thought he was simply in the clear?

Otherwise, just for the sake of intelligence, Guy had to know winning an election would bring certain attention to himself.

From his own mouth, he admitted to keeping his money outside of banking systems. There has to be a reason he didn't trust placing his funds where authorities could freeze those assets, right?

However, as the U.S. Attorney's Office mentions, this is just an indictment, and Guy is innocent until proven guilty — even while being held without bond.

All in all, what are your thoughts about Guy Philippe's arrest? Feel free to share your comments below.

[Featured Image by Dieu Nalio Chery/AP Images]