Feds report ‘recent’ increase of U.S. black market weapons smuggling to Haiti
There has been a “recent” increase in firearm and ammunition smuggling from the United States to Haiti, federal officials reported on Wednesday during a news conference in Miami-Dade County.
Anthony Salisbury, the special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Miami, met with reporters at his principal field office in Sweetwater, just south of Doral.
“Homeland Security Investigations and its partners will investigate and seek to prosecute any individuals involved in illegal arms trafficking,” Salisbury told reporters.
Salisbury stood near tables displaying weapons that U.S. authorities seized in South Florida while disrupting a black market deal with a delivery from the U.S. to the Caribbean.
The group of partners Salisbury was referring to includes The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, also known as ATF, and The U.S. Department of Commerce.
“HSI and its law enforcement partners target the illegal movement of U.S. origin firearms, ammunition, and explosive weapons with the goal of preventing the procurement of these items by drug cartels, terrorists, transnational criminal organizations, and individuals that utilize these weapons to facilitate criminal activity and acts of violence,” Nestor Yglesias, a spokesman for HSI, wrote in a news release.
Gédéon Jean, of the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights in Haiti, recently told the Miami Herald that the trafficking of guns and ammunition appears to have supplanted cocaine trafficking.
Federal agencies are also dealing with a rise in human trafficking at sea. According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s regular reports, most of the migrants detained are from Cuba and Haiti.