A federal prosecutor Tuesday recommended cutting one-time Haitian drug lord Jacques Ketant’s 27-year prison sentence by half, citing his “invaluable information” that helped authorities convict a dozen fellow traffickers, politicians and police officers from Haiti.Uh-oh -- I hope that Monet isn't sitting in a DEA warehouse somewhere in Miami getting all moldy. I wonder why the U.S. gets it as opposed to Haiti where this guy committed most of his crimes, except possibly murder which is alleged to have occurred here:
But U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno delayed his decision, saying he wants more details about the government’s attempt to recover $15 million in drug profits from Ketant, who was convicted in 2003 of smuggling 30 tons of cocaine into South Florida and New York.
Moreno also inquired about the status of Ketant’s Port-au-Prince mansion as well as an art collection of more than 200 paintings that boasted a Monet.
“It should be worth at least a million dollars,” Moreno said of the painting by the French Impressionist painter. “You don’t know where the Monet is?”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Kirkpatrick said the U.S. government already seized the Monet, was able to recover only a small portion of the drug profits, and that Ketant’s mansion was turned over to the Haitian government.
But the judge really caught the prosecutor and defense attorney by surprise when he disclosed that he had recently received a letter from a man who said Ketant was responsible for the alleged 1997 killing of his mother in South Florida, according to Moreno, who did not disclose names nor file the letter in the court record.
In court, Kirkpatrick said she was unfamiliar with the murder allegation and Oliva said it was unfounded.
The judge ordered both sides to address his questions within two weeks before he holds another hearing on the proposed sentence reduction for Ketant, who is imprisoned in Arkansas.
Ketant, 48, had lived as a virtually untouchable kingpin in his hilltop mansion overlooking Port-au-Prince. In 2003, Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide expelled him under U.S. pressure because Ketant’s bodyguards beat up an official at a private school attended by children of U.S. Embassy personnel.