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Miami criminal defense lawyer convinces prosecutors to cut haitian cocaine trafficker's sentence

Posted on July 17, 2009 3:00 AM EST

A major Haitian cocaine trafficker received a significant reduction in his prison sentence for assisting federal Miami prosecutors in a larger investigation into former Haitian officials of the Jean Bertrand-Aristide regime.

Jean Eliobert Jasme's, a large scale cocaine trafficker provided substantial assistance in dozens of Miami cocaine trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine cases. As a result, federal prosecutors and Miami criminal defense lawyers convinced a federal judge to cut Jasme's twenty year sentence in half. Jasme offered to assist federal authorities to help in the U.S. government's efforts to curb the flow of cocaine from Columbia through Haiti to Miami. Information provided by Jasme led to the prosecution in 17 Miami cocaine trafficking cases of former Haitian government officials and police officers. All but one individual was absolved of Miami cocaine trafficking charges.

Government officials have suspected for years that Aristide and his government were involved in cocaine trafficking to the Miami and South Florida area. Federal authorities have been unable to prove that Aristide received large sums of money in exchange for providing a jumping off point to the United States for cocaine trafficking. Aristide has not returned to Haiti in five years since his government was overthrown. The cocaine traffickers smuggled the cocaine from Columbia through Haiti to Miami.

One of Aristide's closest official, Oriel Jean, the former presidential security chief, was convicted by federal prosecutors. Jean received a three year prison sentence in exchange for information into Miami cocaine trafficking and the location of several fugitives involved in cocaine trafficking rings.

Even with the cooperation of Jasme and Jean, DEA agents have been until to locate and arrest Guy Philippe, a former Haitian police official who was indicted for cocaine trafficking in 2005. Philippe has evaded several arrest attempts by federal law enforcement agencies.

Haitian Drug Trafficker's Sentence Cut, Miami Herald, July 16, 2009.
Categories: Drug Offenses