Ever since Moïse was killed in his Port-au-Prince home in a violent attack on July 7, investigators in Haiti and other countries, including the U.S., have been searching for suspects in the alleged scheme to overthrow the island nation's leader. Much of the focus of the U.S. investigation has zeroed in on South Florida, where all five suspects live or maintain business ties.
Three of the suspects — Christian Emmanuel Sanon, James Solages, and Joseph Vincent — have been arrested and are being detained in Haiti. Police are searching for Antonio "Tony" Intriago, who has not been seen since early July, as well as a fifth suspect, Walter Veintemilla.
Investigators are still trying to unravel the details surrounding the plot, including who actually pulled the trigger and how a plan that was purportedly intended to end in the president's nonviolent arrest took such a bloody turn.
Meanwhile, here is what we know so far about the five suspects with ties to South Florida.
Christian Emmanuel SanonChristian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, is a self-described doctor and pastor and has lived and maintained businesses in various South Florida cities, including Dania Beach, Wilton Manors, and, most recently, Boynton Beach, according to the Sun Sentinel. He was detained last week by Haitian authorities.
On social media, Sanon bills himself as a medical doctor and Christian minister who is providing leadership for Haiti through a life of "positive action and absolute integrity." The Florida Department of Health database of licensed practitioners does not show any record that Sanon is a licensed doctor in the state.
The alleged conspirator has a number of businesses registered under his name in Florida, including a nonprofit called "Organisation Rome Haiti," though many of them are inactive, according to the Florida Division of Corporations. He filed for bankruptcy in Tampa in 2013, according to the Miami Herald.
Sanon allegedly had aspirations of replacing Moïse as Haiti's new leader, hoping that a popular uprising would force Moïse to resign, one person familiar with Sanon told the Washington Post.
Sanon posted videos on his personal YouTube channel criticizing the Haitian government in 2011, accusing leaders of corruption and living in luxury while the Haitian people endured terrible conditions. In one clip, speaking to people living in poverty in Haiti, Sanon said, "I wanna tell them something — there is a hope coming.... I will bring hope to them."
According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, Sanon held meetings with other South Florida men implicated in the assassination plot, in order to plan a "new dawn" for Haiti that would improve the quality of life on the island, including improvements to infrastructure. At a May 12 meeting in Fort Lauderdale less than two months before the attacks, the documents indicate, Sanon said he would be the one to lead the "new dawn."
Part of the plan for Sanon's political coup involved hiring a private security force that would protect him in Haiti until he was declared president, according to an unsigned consulting agreement obtained by the Post, involving Sanon, along with the companies of two other South Florida men, Antonio "Tony" Intriago and Walter Veintemilla.
Parnell Duverger, a retired Broward College professor who attended Sanon's May 12 meeting, told the Post that he had no inclination during that meeting that Sanon or anyone involved had plans for a violent coup, only that Sanon had clear ambitions to lead the country.
Antonio "Tony" IntriagoAntonio Intriago, who goes by "Tony," is a 57-year-old Venezuelan-American and president of CTU Security, a private security firm based in Doral. CTU is an acronym for Counter Terrorist Unit.
Authorities are investigating Intriago and his business after Haiti's National Police reported that he hired a number of Colombian ex-military personnel to travel to Haiti around the time of President Moïse's assassination. Haitian authorities reported that 26 Colombians were involved in the assault on Moïse's residence, many of whom have been arrested and three of whom were killed by Haitian police.
The director of the Colombian National Police said the Colombians who took part in the assassination were paid by CTU, and one of the men who was killed by police, Duberney Capador, sent his sister a photo of himself wearing a CTU polo shirt prior to the July 7 killing.
A number of the Colombian mercenaries have said they were hired to capture Moïse peacefully and turn him over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) but could not do so because the president was found dead. The DEA denies any involvement in the matter.
Intriago had been facing financial woes prior to the Haitian imbroglio. His company had been sued on multiple occasions for nonpayment of debts to various vendors for tens of thousands of dollars, according to NBC News. CTU also filed for bankruptcy, according to the Associated Press.
Draft security plans obtained by the Washington Post show that Intriago intended to provide Christian Sanon with personal security in Haiti through CTU, as well as supply mission planning and "convoy ops"; a separate document shows that Sanon was to have paid more than $860,000 for ammunition, equipment, and accommodations for the CTU security personnel.
Intriago's whereabouts are unknown, but the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is currently investigating him and CTU and have told Politico they will suspend his security and firearm licenses once he's arrested.
Walter VeintemillaWalter Veintemilla, originally from Ecuador, has mainly made his career in private and mortgage lending. The 53-year-old's company, Worldwide Capital Lending Group, is a Miramar-based firm that gathers money from private investors to secure loans for clients who can't easily obtain a bank loan, according to the Miami Herald.
Haitian authorities repeatedly implicated the Weston-based loan broker as a party to the plot against Moïse in the weeks since the president's assassination.
The Haitian National Police released a photograph that shows Veintemilla was present with Sanon at the May 12 meeting in Fort Lauderdale to plan the "new dawn" for Haiti. Records outline that Veintemilla's company was to provide financial backing for Sanon's political plans in Haiti, including partial payment of Sanon's expenditures for security personnel and accommodation, according to the Washington Post. Of the $860,000 Sanon requested in funding, Worldwide Capital Lending Group was to provide $645,000 (75 percent). Veintemilla's attorney, Robert Nicholson, told the Miami Herald that his client had nothing to do with the assassination and that there was no discussion of a violent overthrow of the government or a murder attempt on the president.
Nicholson stated that Veintemilla met with Intriago and Sanon to discuss infrastructure improvements in Haiti and Sanon's political aspirations. He said Veintemilla's company did nothing more than broker two loans to CTU Security and Tony Intriago. It was Intriago, Nicholson said, who introduced Veintemilla to Sanon last July when Sanon was seeking financial support for his political efforts.
Aside from Worldwide Capital Lending Group, Veintemilla has several other businesses registered in Florida, including Worldwide Mortgage Lending Group and Ultimate Insurance Group.
James SolagesJames Solages, 35, was one of two American citizens arrested by Haitian authorities immediately after the attack on the Haitian president.
A native of Jacmel, Haiti, Solages lived in Tamarac prior to being detained. On personal websites and Facebook pages that have since been taken down, Solages described himself as a former bodyguard for the Canadian Embassy in Haiti and a graduate of Fort Lauderdale High School.
Solages ran a charity called FWA SA A JACMEL AVAN INC, which he described on his now-disabled LinkedIn page as an economic empowerment charity. He is also the registered CEO of EJS Maintenance & Repair, LLC in North Lauderdale.
It is unclear at this point what role Solages and his fellow arrestee, Joseph Vincent, played in the plot involving Moïse. According to the Washington Post, Solages told an investigative judge in Haiti that he and Vincent were hired as translators for the CTU Security's Colombian personnel that traveled to Haiti. Solages stated that they were told they were there to arrest the Haitian president, not kill him.
Solages' family has expressed disbelief at the allegations against him. They said the first they'd heard of his involvement when watching news of the assassination.
Photo shows 2 US citizens among men accused of assassinating Haiti's president. James Solages and Joseph Vincent were sitting on the floor during a press conference Thursday. Another 15 people were detained, and the police are searching for another eight. pic.twitter.com/vErEq7fSss— Sumner (@diamondlass99) July 9, 2021
Joseph VincentLittle is known at this time about Joseph Vincent, 55, who was arrested alongside James Solages in Haiti after the assassination. Solages claimed that both he and Vincent were hired as interpreters for Colombian security forces.
Federal court records show a person by the name of Joseph G. Vincent with a birth date matching Vincent's lived in Hialeah and was indicted on charges of making a false statement on a passport application in 1999 and sentenced to two years' probation in Miami.
A Joseph G. Vincent with the same birth date, and who is recorded to be from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was arrested on grand theft charges in 1995, according to the Broward County Clerk of Courts. That case was ultimately dismissed.