A key witness in a bungled U.S. narco-trafficking case that prompted the Justice Department to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by U.S. drug agents in Haiti has been extradited to South Florida to face charges himself as the sole defendant accused of conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin.
Gregory George, described as a lieutenant in a smuggling ring that operated out of Haiti’s private Terminal Varreux, arrived in Fort Lauderdale Friday afternoon on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s plane after Haiti Justice Minister Jean Roody Aly signed the extradition order.
George was indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami on April 30 on one count of conspiring to distribute multiple kilos of Colombian cocaine as well as heroin from July 2013 to June 7, 2015, knowing it would be imported into the United States.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment. George is expected to have his first appearance in Miami federal court on Monday before a magistrate judge. His case is being prosecuted by Kurt Lukenheimer, the deputy chief of the office’s narcotics section.
The Miami Herald broke the story about the DOJ probe into the bungled DEA case in August of last year.
George, who was jailed in Haiti for three years before his extradition, is expected to play a central role in the widening investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office into the Panamanian-flagged MV Manzanares case. The boat arrived in Port-au-Prince from Colombia in April 2015 hauling bags of imported sugar and between 700 to 800 kilos of cocaine and 300 kilos of heroin with an estimated U.S. street value of $100 million.
In a previous interview with the Herald, George said there had been multiple attempts on his life while inside the Croix-des-Bouquets civil prison, where he was sometimes kept in isolation for his protection.
Sources familiar with his case say the most recent attempt on his life occurred over a week ago when he was beaten up inside the prison. They told the Herald that there have been at least a half dozen attempts on his life, including one where he was locked in a van and tear-gassed during an authorized transfer. The incident occurred the same day, Aug. 17, 2018, the Herald published its investigation into the DOJ’s probe. Continue reading