HomeNewsBriefUS Deports Former Haiti Cocaine Kingpin
BRIEF

US Deports Former Haiti Cocaine Kingpin

CARIBBEAN / 24 AUG 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

The United States has deported former cocaine kingpin Beaudouin "Jacques" Ketant back to Haiti, leaving their former star witness to an uncertain fate.

Despite fighting his deportation, Ketant was delivered to Haitian authorities, who later released him into the custody of a relative, reported The Miami Herald

Ketant was originally sentenced to 27 years in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling 30 tons of cocaine from Haiti into the United States. In April 2015, a federal judge cut Ketant's sentence in half for "substantial assistance" in helping prosecutors convict a dozen other traffickers, including police and government officials.

Prior to his expulsion from Haiti in 2003, Ketant was part of a group that worked with the Medellin Cartel and later the Norte del Valle Cartel, moving hundreds of tons of cocaine from Colombia, through Haiti and into the United States. 

The group bribed local officials and police to facilitate drug shipments. Ketant even claims to have paid millions to controversial former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who Ketant says turned Haiti into a "narco-state." 

Aristide is currently under house arrest in Haiti, while authorities investigate his alleged involvement in corruption, money laundering, and drug trafficking. 

InSight Crime Analysis

While Ketant's lawyer said his client was "ecstatic" over his reduced sentence, Ketant is probably not celebrating his return to Haiti. 

Earlier this year, Aristide's former security chief, Oriel Jean, was killed in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. Like Ketant, Jean secured lighter sentencing from US courts in exchange for testifying against other traffickers. Despite reportedly keeping a low profile after returning to Haiti, Jean was gunned down by men on motorcycles in what some believe was a revenge killing.  

SEE ALSO:  Coverage of Haiti

Additionally, Haiti's criminal landscape has changed significantly since Ketant was last around. During his time in prison, the Colombian cartels Ketant worked with were dismantled. Other drug trafficking networks reportedly left Haiti after its catastrophic 2010 earthquake. Additionally, even though drug seizures have increased in the Caribbean, the US State Department still considers Central America the region's main drug corridor

With this context in mind, it appears Ketant has little to gain and everything to lose as he returns to Haiti.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CARIBBEAN / 16 MAY 2011

As Haiti's President Michel Martelly begins his first week in power, among the legions of challenges facing the new leader…

CARIBBEAN / 4 OCT 2013

Drug trafficking through the Caribbean doubled in the first half of 2013 compared to the previous year, according to the…

CARIBBEAN / 21 MAY 2012

Haitian authorities arrested some 59 people, including two US citizens, after a march calling for the reinstatement of the military…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.