US seeks half off ex-Haitian drug lord sentence

By CURT ANDERSON | February 21, 2012 | 3:35 PM EST

MIAMI (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Miami say a once-powerful Haitian drug lord should get half off his 27-year prison sentence because he provided key assistance to prosecutors in a dozen other cases.

Prosecutor Lynn Kirkpatrick said Tuesday that 48-year-old Beaudoin "Jacques" Ketant helped convict high-ranking, corrupt Haitian law enforcement and security officials and high-level drug traffickers.

Chief U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno did not issue an immediate decision. Moreno wants more information about assets Ketant forfeited to the Haitian government, including a mansion and expensive paintings.

Authorities say Ketant's organization moved some 41 tons of cocaine through Haiti to the U.S. from 1987 to 1996.

At his 2004 sentencing, Ketant claimed former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide turned Haiti into a "narco-country." Aristide's U.S.-based attorneys have denied that claim.