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Two federal law enforcement agencies are investigating whether a former enlisted Marine pretended to be an officer to help an active duty infantryman smuggle arms into Haiti, according to court filings viewed by Task & Purpose.
Marine Sgt. Jacques Yves Sebastien Duroseau was detained by local police in Haiti after he landed at the international airport in Port-au-Prince on Nov. 12 with three plastic boxes containing guns, ammo, body armor, and a plan to train members of the Haitian military, the filings claim.
A federal criminal complaint filed on Nov. 27 in the Eastern District of North Carolina alleges that Duroseau was aided by a "known individual" who purchased his plane ticket, and helped him bring the weapons to the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern, North Carolina for his flight on Nov. 11. That individual, according to a Nov. 22 affidavit in support of a search warrant of Duroseau's residence, is Taylor Hickey, a former Marine who lived with Duroseau in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Hickey declined to comment when reached by Task & Purpose. Duroseau's attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
An active-duty U.S. Marine was arrested last month when investigators say he landed in Haiti with boxes filled with guns, ammunition and body armor.
Federal prosecutors indicted Jacques Yves Sebastien Duroseau, a native of Haiti, in North Carolina last week on gun-smuggling charges. Duroseau, described in the indictment as a military firearms instructor, reportedly told investigators he brought the eight guns to the Caribbean country to teach marksmanship to the Haitian army.
Former Navy SEAL arrested on weapons charges in Haiti says he was doing security work tied to Haiti's president
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a now-deleted post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
Group of American vets detained in Haiti on weapons charges brought back to US, arrested upon landing
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for allegedly driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men reportedly told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A former U.S. Marine sergeant and Orlando gun shop owner was found guilty by a Fort Lauderdale federal jury Friday of conspiring with a Haiti senator and others to illegally export 166 semi-automatic guns and 30,000 rounds of ammunition to Haiti.