Haitian PM: Arrested Americans Are ‘Mercenaries’ Targeting Government

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant has accused five Americans reportedly detained by Haitian authorities over the weekend of being “terrorists” bent on targeting the government. Eight men, five of whom were reportedly Americans, were detained by the Haitian National Police after being caught with weapons and military equipment during a traffic stop on Sunday, authorities said. In comments to CNN, Ceant described the men as “mercenaries” who wanted to “target the executive branch of the government.” Haiti's Police Chief Michel-Ange Gédéon told CNN the men were found with “six pistols, six automatic rifles, two drones, five ballistic vests, three satellite phones, a telescope and several license plates.”

According to The Miami Herald, three of the five Americans were veterans, and another one had a contract with the U.S. government. The Herald identified the three former U.S. servicemen as Christopher Michael Osman, Kent Leland Kroeker, and Christopher Mark McKinley. Dustin Porte, an electrical contractor who did work for the Department of Homeland Security, was also reportedly part of the detained group. The fifth American detained, Talon Ray Burton, is reportedly a director of a security company. The newspaper later reported they left Haiti on a flight back to the U.S. on Wednesday. The State Department confirmed to The Daily Beast earlier this week that U.S. citizens were among those arrested by Haitian police. The detentions came as deadly protests rocked Haiti's capital city, with people calling for Prime Minister Ceant and President Jovenel Moise to resign.