A 27-year-old Haitian man has been charged in the United States for his alleged role in last year’s kidnapping of 16 American Christian missionaries, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Jean Pelice, also known as “Zo,” an alleged member of the powerful 400 Mawozo gang, was brought to the United States in May to face charges, the department said in a statement.

Pelice is accused of involvement in the October 2021 kidnapping near Port-au-Prince of 17 Christian missionaries, 16 of whom were U.S. citizens, by 400 Mawozo.

The gang made ransom demands and asked for the release from a Haitian prison of Joly Germine, a 400 Mawozo leader who allegedly continued to run the gang from his cell.

Two of the hostages were released in November 2021. Three were freed in December 2021 and the remainder escaped captivity later that same month.

Germine, 29, also known as “Yonyon,” was extradited to the United States in May and has been charged with conspiracy to commit hostage taking and other offenses.

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