A prominent Haitian doctor with long-standing ties to South Florida has been implicated in last week’s brazen assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who has lived in the Sunshine state on and off for more than 20 years, is suspected of being one of the ring leaders of the hit squad that killed Moise, the Miami Herald said.
Sanon is the third person of Haitian descent tied to Florida to be seized, the Herald said.
Two of them — James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55 — told authorities during questioning that the assassination was part of a plot to install Sanon as president of the Caribbean nation, sources told the outlet.
They said the plan wasn’t to kill Moise, but rather serve him with a 2019 arrest warrant and take him to the presidential palace, where Sanon would take his place.
In an interview Saturday, Haiti National Police Chief Leon Charles told the Herald that the plot included two Haitian-Americans and a high-profile doctor there,” but did not identify Sanon by name.
“I would say that the Haitian (doctor) recruited” the men, who in turn signed up a group of Colombian nationals for the operations, the report said.
In all 26 people pulled off the attack, with 19 now in custody and the others killed during a police raid in response to the assassination.
Moise, 53, was gunned down in an attack on his home by a group of armed men who claimed to be agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Haitian First Lady Martine Moise, 47, was critically wounded in the attack.
Officials described the killers as well-trained “foreign mercenaries,” with the assassination hurling the politically fragile nation into further instability.
According to the Herald, Sanon has had more than a dozen businesses registered in Florida over the years — including medical services, energy and real estate companies — although most are now listed as inactive.
Sanon identifies himself as a doctor although the outlet could not locate a medical license listing for him in Florida.
Records show he did file for bankruptcy in 2013 in Tampa and lost a home in Brandon to foreclosure with debt totaling more than $400,000.