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  • Writer's pictureFrantz Alcema,

Four Key Suspects made their first appearance in U.S. federal court

Chief suspects in the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse made their first appearances in a federal courtroom in Miami on Wednesday, agreeing to detention as the government accused the men of a sprawling conspiracy to seize power.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department charged four men in connection with the assassination and detailed a scheme that prosecutors said involved a yet unnamed former Supreme Court judge in the country, Colombian mercenaries and an illegal arms shipment from the United States.

Three of the men are accused of conspiracy in the killing of Jovenel Moïse: James Solages, Joseph Vincent and Germán Alejandro Rivera García, a Colombian accused of leading the group of mercenaries operating in Haiti.

The fourth, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 65, a dual Haitian American citizen, was charged with counts related to smuggling.

The suspects told Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo Reyes of the Southern District of Florida on Wednesday that they were destitute and in need of counsel, prompting her to assign a lawyer to each.

If convicted, James Solages 37, Joseph Vincent, 57, and Rivera Garcia face up to life in prison. Christian Emmanuel Sanon faces up to 20 years.

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