Several of the men arrested in the Haitian president's assassination had ties to US law enforcement: reports

Several of the men arrested in the Haitian president's assassination had ties to US law enforcement: reports
17 arrested in haiti assassination sitting in a line
Suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse seen in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday. STR/AFP via Getty Images
  • Some suspects in President Jovenel Moïse's killing are said to have previously been US informants.

  • Haitian officials think two Haitian American men and 26 Colombian men carried out the attack.

  • On Sunday, the police arrested a Florida-based man accused of being the attack's mastermind.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Several of the men arrested in connection to last week's assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse had ties to US law enforcement, sources told Reuters and CNN.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed to Insider that one of the men arrested by Haitian authorities previously worked as an informant for the DEA.

"At times, one of the suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was a confidential source to the DEA," the DEA said in a statement to Insider. "Following the assassination of President Moïse, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA. A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a US State Department official, provided information to the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual."

Video footage of the moments leading up to the assassination shows someone repeating the words "this is a DEA operation" through a megaphone. The agency told Insider none of the attackers were participating on behalf of the DEA.

People familiar with the matter told CNN that other suspects in the assassination also had US ties, including working as informants for the FBI.

The FBI declined to comment.

Reuters cited a DEA official as saying that one of the two Haitian American men arrested last week had ties to US law enforcement.

Those two men - Joseph Vincent and James Solages - were arrested Thursday in connection to the shocking murder of Moïse early Wednesday morning.

Authorities allege that Vincent and Solages, both from Florida, and 26 Colombians carried out the attack, which left Moïse dead and his wife, Martine Moïse, in critical condition.

A Haitian judge said on Friday that Vincent and Solages said they were serving only as translators for the hit squad and were not in the room when the shooting took place.

Solages said he found a job listing online to translate for the commandos.

According to Reuters, Solages described himself in past online statements as a "certified diplomatic agent" and the former "chief commander of bodyguards" for Haiti's Canadian Embassy.

The DEA official who told Reuters about the law-enforcement connection did not specify which of the two men had ties to an American agency.

The news comes one day after Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian-born man living in Florida, was arrested. Sanon, 63, is accused of being the mastermind behind the attack, with authorities alleging "political objectives."

The attack has led to a power vacuum in the already-struggling country, where at least four men have since claimed to be the leader.

On Friday, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said FBI and Department of Homeland Security agents would be sent to Haiti as soon as possible to help provide security and investigative assistance.

The motive for the brazen assassination remains unclear.

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