WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- Several of the men involved in the assassination of Haiti’s president previously worked as U.S. law enforcement informants, according to people briefed on the matter, as U.S. investigators grapple with an increasing number of Florida links to the alleged hit squad.
Haitian President Jovenel Moise was killed last Wednesday in an operation that Haitian authorities say involved at least 28 people, many of them Colombian mercenaries hired through a Florida-based security company.
At least one of the men arrested in connection to the assassination by Haitian authorities previously worked as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA said in a statement in response to CNN.
“At times, one of the suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise was a confidential source to the DEA,” the DEA said in a statement.
“Following the assassination of President Moise, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA. A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a U.S. State Department official, provided information to the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual,” the DEA said.
The DEA said it is aware of reports that some assassins yelled “DEA” at the time of their attack.
Other suspects also had U.S. ties, including working as informants for the FBI, the people briefed on the matter said. The FBI said in response to CNN’s reporting that it doesn’t comment on informants, except to say that it uses “lawful sources to collect intelligence” as part of its investigations.
Authorities on Monday announced the arrest of a suspect who they say orchestrated the assassination. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, entered the country on a private jet in June, Police Chief Leon Charles said at a news conference.
Haitian authorities say that Sanon hired the Florida-based company CTU Security, which they alleged recruited men initially to provide security for Sanon, though their mission appears to have changed thereafter.
Two Colombian suspects who were killed in Haiti by police also had links to CTU Security, which is owned by a Venezuelan national, said Colombian police on Monday.
A delegation from the U.S., including representatives from the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, returned from Port-au-Prince on Monday and briefed President Joe Biden, according to the White House.
Haitian authorities have provided limited details on the investigation, but the growing number of Florida connections to the plot appears to portray an operation at least partly hatched in the United States. Three American citizens have now been arrested in Haiti for their alleged involvement, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.