Alleged U.S. Informant Among Those Suspected in Assassination of Haiti's Jovenel Moïse

An alleged U.S. government informant is among those suspected by Haitian police for the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse.

Police identified Rodolphe Jaar alongside four others as suspected armed and dangerous fugitives that allegedly took part in Moïse's killing on July 7 in his home, the Associated Press reported. Jaar speaks English, was born in Haiti and does not have U.S. citizenship. He was indicted in a South Florida federal court on cocaine conspiracy smuggling charges in 2013.

Jaar's attorney revealed at his 2015 sentencing hearing that he was a confidential informant for the U.S. government for years before 2013.

"This villainous act is an affront to our democracy," the Haitian government's anti-corruption unit said Tuesday in a statement about Moïse's death. "The authors, co-authors, accomplices must be hunted down, investigated and punished with the utmost rigor."

On Wednesday, police continued their widespread investigation into Moïse's killing.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse
An alleged U.S. government informant is among those suspected in the killing of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. In this photo, Moïse speaks onstage during the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit - Day 2 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 25, 2018 in New York City. Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

A former Haitian senator and a fired government official are also the latest suspects identified.

The July 7 pre-dawn attack at Moïse's private home wounded his wife, Martine.

One of the suspects was identified as former Sen. John Joël Joseph, a Haitian politician and opponent of the Tet Kale party that Moïse belonged to. In a video posted last year on YouTube, Joseph compared Moïse to the coronavirus, saying Haitians have died from hunger or been killed amid a spike in violence under his administration.

"Insecurity has infected every single Haitian," he said.

Police identified the second suspect as Joseph Felix Badio. He previously worked for Haiti's Ministry of Justice and joined the government's anti-corruption unit in March 2013. The agency issued a statement saying Badio was fired in May following "serious breaches" of unspecified ethical rules, adding that it filed a complaint against him.

The third suspect, Jaar, has a college degree in business administration, according to court records.

Jaar uses the alias "Whiskey" and was formerly indicted in federal court in South Florida on charges of conspiring to smuggle cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela through Haiti to the U.S. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison, according to court records.

At his 2015 sentencing hearing, Jaar agreed to cooperate with federal authorities and asked for a lighter sentence, saying he had a wife, 1-year-old and elderly parents.

In June 2000, Jaar filed a civil suit against the U.S. government seeking the return of a "large amount" of cash taken from him along with his passport and tourist visa when he was stopped in a rental car by customs agents. He was not arrested at the time, but Jaar said he learned he was under investigation for money laundering.

The government later returned his property and did not file charges. Jaar, who dropped the lawsuit, described himself in court papers as the owner of a successful import business in Haiti. He said his family has operated the enterprise since 1944.

Haiti's Justice Ministry also is looking for a man it identified as Reynaldo Corvington, ordering authorities to detain him if he tries to leave the country. Corvington owns a private security company called Corvington Courier & Security Service, which he established in 1982, according to its website, which provides tips on how to survive a kidnapping.

Authorities in Haiti are investigating Moïse's killing with help from Colombia's government, which has said 23 of 26 former Colombian soldiers suspected in the slaying have been arrested and remain detained in Haiti. Léon Charles, chief of Haiti's National Police, said three Haitians also have been arrested and at least three suspects killed.

The detained Haitians have been identified as James Solages, Joseph Vincent and Christian Emmanuel Sanon.

Police had said Sanon flew to Haiti in June aboard a private jet with several of the alleged gunmen. The 62-year-old is a Haitian physician, church pastor and Florida businessman who once expressed a desire to lead Haiti in a YouTube video and has denounced the country's leaders as corrupt.

Charles said that Sanon was working with those who plotted the assassination and that Moïse's killers were protecting him. He said officers who raided Sanon's house in Haiti found a hat with a DEA logo, 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four license plates from the Dominican Republic, two cars and correspondence.

A business associate and a pastor in Florida who knew Sanon told The Associated Press that the suspect was religious and that they did not believe he would be involved in violence. The associate, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said he believes Sanon was duped, describing him as "completely gullible."

The associate added that Sanon had said he was approached by people claiming to represent the U.S. State and Justice departments who wanted to install him as Haiti's president. He said the plan was only for Moïse to be arrested, and Sanon would not have participated if he knew Moïse would be killed.

Haitian Youth Inside a Shelter
A youth looks into the camera inside a school turned shelter created about a month ago for families displaced by gang violence in Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, July 13, 2021 after Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse's assassination. Matias Delacroix/AP Photo