Man pleads guilty to trying to smuggle guns to Haiti

A Haitian man living in Georgia pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to smuggle guns and ammunition to Haiti by hiding them in a car he planned to ship to the island, federal prosecutors said.

Jacques Mathieu, 51, pleaded guilty to attempting to export the 12 guns and roughly 36,000 rounds of ammunition, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta. He’s set to be sentenced Jan. 8.

Mathieu, who lives in Tucker, tried to ship a 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara to Haiti from the port in Palm Beach, Florida, in September 2019, prosecutors said. Shipping documents said the car contained 12 boxes of used clothing, but federal agents searched the car and found the guns and ammunition hidden in the boxes.

“Firearms traffickers help fuel violence on our streets and outside the United States,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in the release. “Alert agents found the weapons and ammunition and stopped the shipment before it reached its intended destination.”