Four more people from South Florida have been detained on suspicion of taking part in the murder of the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, in 2021. US federal investigators believe Moise was assassinated in a failed coup attempt after a year and a half of inquiry. There have been numerous arrests of suspects, including former Colombian military and several Haitian Americans.
According to the AP, others recently detained in South Florida include Antonio “Tony” Intriago, a 59-year-old Venezuelan-American who runs a security firm in the Miami region and is thought to have hired the soldiers for the operation, and Arcangel Pretel Ortiz, a 50-year-old Colombian.
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Intriago and Ortiz of the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) Security are accused of plotting to assassinate or kidnap a foreign national. According to the Miami Herald and US Attorney Markenzy Lapointe, they “devised the strategy to depose the president.” The operation was allegedly funded by Weston, Florida-based financier Walter Veintemilla, 54.
Three months before the assassination, in April 2021, his company, Worldwide Capital Lending Group, allegedly gave CTU a $175,000 line of credit. In an effort to engage the FBI in “a debate regarding regime change in Haiti,” Ortiz met with the FBI around that time, according to the court documents.
The three allegedly “intended to provoke a public revolt aimed at overthrowing President Moise” and replacing him with Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a pastor and unsuccessful businessman who is also involved in the scheme. They allegedly thought they would be awarded big contracts by the new regime.
According to the Herald, a fourth suspect, 64-year-old Frederick Joseph Bergmann Jr. of Tampa, is accused of smuggling ballistic vests to the ex-soldiers in a shipment from Miami disguised as “medical x-ray vests and school materials.” Currently, the US is holding 11 suspects.
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