Reason Roundup

Haitian Assassination Suspect Had Been DEA Informant

Plus: 88,000 New Jersey marijuana cases dismissed, Slate looks inside the conservative publishing industry, and more...


Haitian assassination suspect was a U.S. government informant. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) admitted in a statement yesterday that "at times, one of the suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise was a confidential source to the DEA."

Moise was murdered last Wednesday. Since then, a number of people—including Joseph Gertand Vincent, the DEA informant—have been arrested as suspects.

"Following the assassination of President Moise, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA. A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a US State Department official, provided information to the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual," said the DEA in a statement.

According to Haitian officials, Moise's assassination was led by 63-year-old Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who had hired a Florida company called CTU Security to protect Sanon on his trip to Haiti. Sanon, who arrived in June, "came with the intention to take over as president of the republic," said Police Chief Leon Charles at a press conference.

Haitian law enforcement officials have arrested at least 20 suspects so far and said at least 28 suspects were involved.

"Haitian authorities have provided limited details on the investigation, but the growing number of Florida connections to the plot appears to portray an operation at least partly hatched in the United States," notes CNN. "Three American citizens have now been arrested in Haiti for their alleged involvement, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price."

According to the Miami Herald: "Vincent, 55, was identified by Haitian authorities over the weekend as an arrested suspect along with another South Florida Haitian emigre named James Solages, 35, who until April was a maintenance director in a Lantana senior-living center. Both men told investigators they were hired as translators." The Herald adds:

The DEA announcement is even more stunning because of reports in Haiti that the attackers who killed the president shouted through a loudspeaker that a DEA raid was taking place. The DEA steadfastly denies any knowledge of or involvement in the monumental events that unfolded in impoverished Haiti.

"DEA is aware of reports that President Moïse's assassins yelled 'DEA' at the time of their attack. These individuals were not acting on behalf of DEA," said the source.

The DEA isn't the only U.S. government agency with potential ties to the Haitian assassination team, however.

"Other suspects also had US ties, including working as informants for the FBI," reports CNN. But "it's not clear that the men who worked as US law enforcement informants wittingly participated in the assassination plot or were aware of the mission, the people briefed on the matter said."

For more background on the political situation in Haiti leading up to the assassination, see Amy Wilentz in the Los Angeles Times on "Haiti before and after Moise."


Inside the conservative publishing industry. Slate talks to Eric Nelson of HarperCollins' conservative imprint, Broadside Books, about the past, present, and future of right-of-center publishing.

Do the books you edit appeal to you politically, or is that not that relevant to you as an editor?

The older I get, the more concerned I am about the health of our democracy. And so I do feel like every day that I go to work and I help a smart person make a more coherent and truthful argument, the better it is for our country.

OK, but there are plenty of people who could say that and then would add, "Oh, but I wouldn't want to work for a conservative imprint because it's against my own values."

I'm a libertarian, so it's usually obvious to me what's awful about both parties.…

Let's talk about the pressure campaigns to cancel the contracts of everyone from Josh Hawley to Kellyanne Conway to Mike Pence. This is not something that would have happened 10 years ago, is that correct?


How would you characterize what is happening with the rise of these campaigns?

The overall culture has changed to be pro-censorship, with the belief that by limiting our ability to discuss some ideas, it will make those ideas disappear or lose value among the public—which is delusional, and that has been proven over and over.

Also, there are more truly awful people that have carved out a big audience for themselves than before. These people are famous enough now to have a platform, and so their books look worth doing, financially, but 10 years ago these people would have been taking out ads in the back of the Weekly World News to get people to order their pamphlets on various snake oils.


Tens of thousands of marijuana cases in New Jersey are vacated or dismissed, in the wake of the state recently legalizing recreational marijuana. "The state Judiciary has dealt with 88,000 cases so far, it announced Monday evening. These are the first wave of an estimated 360,000 identified that qualify for expungement," reports

This doesn't mean records have been cleared, however:

Cases that have been vacated or dismissed still need to be expunged. That's the step that ultimately clears a person's record. That phase will come in the next few months, according to the judiciary.

A state Supreme Court order issued earlier this month laid out a process for vacating, expunging and dismissing certain marijuana offenses from people's records. These include selling less than one ounce of marijuana and possession, as well as related crimes like possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence, failing to turn over marijuana or being (sic) or possessing marijuana while in vehicle.


• The Food and Drug Administration is linking the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine to the rare condition called Guillain–Barré syndrome. "Although regulators have found that the chances of developing the condition are low, they appear to be three to five times higher among recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine than among the general population in the United States," notes The New York Times. "Federal officials have identified 100 suspected cases of Guillain-Barré among recipients of Johnson & Johnson's one-dose shot through a federal monitoring system that relies on patients and health care providers to report adverse effects of vaccines."

• Canadian law professor Heidi Matthews tackles toxic masculinity. "Curiously, in 'toxic masculinity' discourse, antisocial and poisonous gender performances are the cause and effect of much of the harm both faced and perpetrated by men," notes Matthews. "That the same basic idea is the starting point for both pop feminist and men's rights approaches to today's so-called crisis of masculinity is a red flag that something is amiss with our framing," she suggests.

• What's behind a new wave of gun owners?

• Joe Biden's antitrust narrative doesn't make any sense.

• Wildfires are causing evacuations in California and Oregon again.

• A win against absurd parking fees in Florida: