A former Haitian police commander of the Port-au-Prince airport has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he helped drug traffickers ship Colombian cocaine through his destitute homeland to the United States.
Romaine Lestin, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Miami to conspiracy to import cocaine.
The Drug Enforcement Administration had accused him of sending Haitian police officers to a drug trafficker’s villa to pick up cocaine and drive it to the airport in marked police vehicles.
Lestin faces from 10 years to life in prison and a $4 million fine. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 9.
Prosecutors said he was among four senior Haitian National Police officers who allowed cocaine to be stowed in suitcases and cargo containers aboard American Airlines flights to Miami.
Jean Nesly Lucien, the former director of Haiti’s National Police force, and Rudy Therassan, a former police commander, have already pleaded guilty. Former Haitian anti-drug chief Evintz Brillant faces trial Sept. 12.