The U.S. places Haitian gang leader Vitel’Homme Innocent on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Wednesday announced it has added Vitel’Homme Innocent, the notorious Haitian gang leader, to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and is offering $2 million for information leading to his arrest.
Innocent made the list for his alleged role in the kidnapping of 16 American Christian missionaries in Croix-des-Bouquets, a western commune six miles from Port-au-Prince, in October 2021 and taking hostage by force two additional Americans, killing one in the process.
“The State Department is offering a reward of up to $2 million for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction,” said Jeffrey B. Veltri, a special agent in charge of FBI Miami via the press release. “Our resolve to bring him to account for his alleged crimes will not waver.”
Innocent, 37, is believed to be the leader of “Kraze Barye,” or Break Barriers gang, which worked with the 400 Mawozo gang to kidnap the 16 missionaries, according to the FBI. In addition, members of the Vitel’Homme gang fatally shot Marie Odette Franklin, a Haitian-American visiting Haiti, while they were trying to kidnap her and her husband Jean Franklin in October 2022. Jean Franklin was held captive for 21 days until his family paid a ransom, which Innocent negotiated.
Innocent replaces Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez, a Mexican drug cartel boss who was arrested in January, according to the FBI.
Back in November 2022, The U.S. Embassy in Haiti offered $1 million for information leading to Vitel’Homme’s arrest. The gang leader is believed to be in Haiti and reportedly has ties to other Caribbean countries, according to the FBI.
400 Mawozo and Krazye Barye teaming up to kidnap white missionaries was a sign that gangs in Haiti have grown excessively powerful, since before that whites were untouchable, and that could lead to their downfall, observers said.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225- 5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. You can remain anonymous.
Additional information concerning Vitel’Homme, including his wanted poster, as well as the FBI’s official list of the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives,” can be found by visiting the FBI’s webpage at www.fbi.gov/wanted/.