On Tuesday, four more people were arrested and charged in connection with the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Arcangel Pretel Ortiz, 50, Antonio Intriago, 59, and Walter Veintemilla, 54, all of South Florida, face charges of conspiracy to kill or kidnap a person outside the United States. Frederick Bergmann, 64, of Tampa, Florida, is charged with committing export violations and smuggling ballistic vests.
Prosecutors allege that Ortiz, Intriago, and Veintemilla are part of Counter Terrorist Unit Federal Academy and Counter Terrorist Unit Security (CTU), and that they planned and financed a plot to either kidnap or murder Moïse, and replace him with someone who would serve their own political goals and financial interests. This intended replacement was Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 64, a Haitian American dual citizen with political aspirations.
To finance the deal, Veintemilla’s company Worldwide Capital Lending Group provided CTU with a $175,000 line of credit, and sent money to co-conspirators in Haiti to purchase ammunition. Bergmann helped fund the lodging of a group of Colombian nationals with military training in Haiti, and worked with Sanon and Intriago to ship 20 ballistic vests from South Florida to Haiti by falsifying the required export documentation.
However, by June 2021, the plot had “evolved” after the men realized Sanon lacked the qualifications to become president, and they instead turned their attention to a former Haitian Supreme Court judge. It is alleged that the plot then evolved from forcibly removing Moïse to killing him, after previous unsuccessful attempts to force him out of power.
On July 6, 2021, co-conspirators met at a house near President Moïse’s residence, where firearms and equipment were distributed, and it was announced that the mission was to kill President Moïse. On July 7, 2021, several individuals entered the President’s home and killed him.
The four men were indicted by a Florida grand jury, along with seven others who were already been arrested and charged for their alleged roles in the plot. They subsequently attended their initial appearances in a Miami federal court on Tuesday. In total, 11 people now face charges in the Southern District of Florida in connection with the assassination, according to the Department of Justice.