Haitian gang leader charged in kidnapping of US missionaries

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors in the U.S. have charged the leader of a notoriously violent Haitian gang with conspiracy to commit hostage taking for his alleged role in the kidnapping of 16 Americans last year.

Joly Germaine, 29, is accused of leading the 400 Mawozo gang and is the first person charged in the U.S. in connection with the kidnapping of the missionaries last fall.

He was extradited to the U.S. last week and faces separate charges in a firearms trafficking case.

Prosecutors say Germaine was in a Haitian prison during the kidnapping but had “directed and asserted control of 400 Mawozo gang members’ kidnapping operations, including ransom negotiation for the hostages’ release.”

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