It took 12 years and 10 attempts to arrest ex-Haiti rebel leader Philippe, feds say

miami heraldJust months after a U.S. grand jury indicted ex-Haitian rebel leader Guy Philippe on drug-trafficking charges, federal authorities attempted to trick him into accepting travel documents that would bring him to South Florida — and into the arms of the law.

But Philippe, a roguish former Haiti National Police commander who two years earlier had led the insurgency against then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, didn’t take the bait.

The ploy was only one of more than 10 attempts by U.S. law enforcement — with the help of Haiti National Police — to bring Philippe to justice during an elaborate, international game of cat-and-mouse that spanned almost a dozen years before his arrest Jan. 5 outside a Haiti radio station.

“On numerous occasions, agents traveled to Haiti and worked with their Haitian counterparts to strategize and execute arrest operations that were unsuccessful,” federal prosecutors admitted for the first time in court documents filed this week. “During these attempts, agents were fired upon and encountered extremely dangerous circumstances in the area.” …

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