August24, 2014

As with so many cocaine cases, the sentence, delivered by the courts, has nothing to do with the time spent behind bars. A convicted cocaine dealer can deal with the American authorities, for a reduced term, by supplying useful information.

I can remember one case. During the late nineties a Haitian drug dealer, of major proportions, was arrested in Miami by the DEA. Everyone looked at each other and said…”Well we won’t see him for 20 years…”

Two weeks later, the guy was back in Miami with a new BMW – free as a bird. Seems as though he had given up the Tamiami-based pilot who flew the missions. Perhaps the pilot had some people he could give up, and so the “Daisy-Chain” goes.

Fourel Celistin, Oriel Jean, Evens Brilliant, and a host of others benefited from this approach as the Americans filled filing cabinets with evidence.

Jacques Ketant was king of the castle, handling the cocaine business for Aristide when his opinion of himself got bigger than reality. He owned a huge mansion, filled with fine art works of Piccaso, Monet, and other high end artists. Some say he had a Van Gogh, but this was probably a high end forgery.

Ketant would still be free, dealing cocaine, but he made the mistake of crossing the Americans. One day he went to the National School and assaulted a few people, including an American, because of imagined slights to his son. The Americans gave Aristide a simple – “him or you” suggestion and Aristide gave up his friend, and associate, Jacques Ketant. In fact, he called Ketant to a meeting at Tabarre where the Americans awaited his arrival.

Transported to Miami he was soon spilling his guts to the authorities, giving everyone up in the hopes of a shortened sentence: He was looking at 40 years to life as a Kingpin Drug Dealer.

Ketant gave them enough information on President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to put him away for life, or longer. Preval was in line for an all expense paid holiday.

When Ketant was being sentenced, he told the judge he expected Aristide to join him soon, since Aristide was  in control of the drug business in Haiti.

Ketant made the deal of the century. He was sentenced to 27 years, but would have been released in 3 had he kept his part of the bargain. He had promised millions of dollars, and his art collection, to the Americans as restitution. Unfortunately, his wife had removed the money and artwork, making the deal an impossible one.

Now, with Jean Bertrand Aristide in the crosshairs of the American government, it would seem that Ketant will play a major role in convicting Aristide, and many others, of their involvement in the shipping of tons of cocaine into the American market.

If Ketant can survive long enough, things may get interesting.

Ketant will tie dozens, perhaps hundreds of key businesspeople, politicians, religious leaders, and others to the cocaine business. He, and Oriel Jean, are an encyclopedia of information on Aristide’s cocaine business. Add Evens Brilliant, the American informer, to this mix and the possibilities are endless.

However, as with earlier incidents, Ketant may commit suicide by drinking battery acid, while his hands are tied behind his back.

Nothing is predictable in Haiti,

Ketant Mansion


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  1. Brilliant, the admitted drug dealer lives freely in the United States but I cannot get a visa for my son to study there.

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