Haiti Leader Expected to Plead Guilty in US Drug Case

By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — A former Haitian coup leader is expected to avoid a life sentence in a plea deal he’s scheduled to make in a U.S. court.

Federal court records in Miami show Guy Philippe will plead guilty Monday. Philippe had been scheduled to stand trial May 1.

Philippe faced a potential life prison sentence if convicted of drug smuggling and money laundering conspiracy charges. His attorney, Zeljka Bozanic, confirmed he’ll plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors that avoids a life sentence.

Philippe led a 2004 Haitian uprising that ousted then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He was elected to the Haitian Senate in November but was arrested and brought to the U.S. in January before taking office.

Philippe unsuccessfully claimed he was immune from U.S. charges as a senator.

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