Second Haitian National Sentenced to 19 Years in Prison for International Hostage Taking of U.S. Citizen
Marcus Noel, 40, of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joan A. Lenard to 235 months’ imprisonment after having previously pled guilty to the international hostage taking of a United States citizen in Haiti. Co-defendant Moises Louinis, 24, also of Port-au-Prince, was previously sentenced to 144 months’ imprisonment for his participation in the scheme.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
According to statements made and documents filed in court, defendants Noel and Louinis were charged with the armed hostage taking of a United States citizen on July 5, 2014, in Petion-ville, a neighboring suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Noel and Louinis approached the victim as she stood by the side of the road and forced her into her car at gunpoint. The defendants then drove with the victim around Port-au-Prince and forced her to place ransom calls to various family members in Haiti. The victim was eventually taken to a school operated by Noel, where she was kept blindfolded, gagged and handcuffed inside a locked room for three days. In addition, the victim was forced to sleep on dirt floors and given only minimal food and water. During the victim’s captivity, Noel continued to call the victim’s family members to demand a $150,000 ransom and made threats to kill the victim and her children if the ransom was not paid. On July 7, 2014, the victim was rescued by Haitian law enforcement officials.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, Haitian National Police and the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ) Anti-Kidnapping Unit. Mr. Ferrer thanked the Haitian Government, including the Haitian Ministry of Justice for their assistance with this matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina M. Moreno.