Denver man pleads guilty sent cars loaded with weapons to relatives in Haiti
The investigation found that some of the guns were later sold in the Caribbean nation after they arrived
September 26, 2022 7:22pm
Updated: September 26, 2022 8:40pm
A Haitian national living in Denver pleaded guilty last week to federal smuggling charges after sending cars full of firearms to Haiti, announced the U.S. Department of Justice.
Federal investigators found that the man, identified as 32-year-old Peniel Olibris, had bought over 77 firearms in the Denver metro area within the span of 16 months. Subsequently, he carefully packed the weapons into boxes, which he loaded into cars that were driven to Florida and eventually shipped to family members in Haiti.
The investigation found that some of the guns were later sold in the Caribbean nation after they arrived.
Between September 30, 2019, and May 29, 2020, Olibris shipped 13 cars to Haiti, according to the shipping company in Florida that the suspect coordinated with to send the cars.
Olibris pleaded guilty to smuggling goods, specifically firearms, on September 29, 2022, before Judge Regina M. Rodriguez. His sentencing is scheduled for January 12, 2023. He faces between 46 months and 10 years in prison and a fine ranging between $20,000 and $200,000.
The defendant said he was trying to obtain a deferral firearms license that would allow him to sell weapons, but had not yet done so.
"The terms and conditions for each shipment required Mr. Olibris to affirm that the vehicles did not contain firearms, which are 'prohibited by law,'" as stated in the indictment. "The U.S. State Department, Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, conducted a check of registration and license history for Mr. Olibris, and confirmed that, as of December 29, 2020, Mr. Olibris had not applied for, or obtained, the necessary license to export defense articles. Mr. Olibris knowingly exported those firearms, knowing that the exportation was contrary to United States law and regulation."
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).