Florida Man Accused of Smuggling Guns to Haiti

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Federal authorities say a South Florida man smuggled guns to Haiti in shipments of dog food.
Vladimir Jean-Baptiste was in West Palm Beach federal court Wednesday to face an indictment charging him with conspiracy to smuggle firearms from the U.S. If convicted, he faces five years in prison.
Prosecutors say that starting in August 2009, Jean-Baptiste bought roughly 30 guns, smuggled them to Haiti and then flew to the Caribbean country to pick them up.
According to the South Florida SunSentinel, prosecutor Michael Walleisa said Jean-Baptiste told investigators that Haitians needed protection and he was starting a security firm in Haiti.
Jean-Baptiste was arrested May 31. His lawyer said Jean-Baptiste was arrested while returning to Florida.
U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hopkins said Jean-Baptiste should be detained pending trial.


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