Haiti

Convicted opioid-dealing doctor who fled to Haiti is back behind bars in Miami

Revisiting Port-Salut after Hurricane Matthew

In Oct. 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated southern Haiti, hitting Port-Salut especially hard. Nearly a year after the storm, the area is still struggling to rebuild.
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In Oct. 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated southern Haiti, hitting Port-Salut especially hard. Nearly a year after the storm, the area is still struggling to rebuild.

A convicted opioid-dealing doctor who jumped bond right before her sentencing in federal court and fled to Haiti is back in Miami.

Dr. Jeanne Germeil appeared before U.S. Magistrate Jonathan Goodman on Monday. She was denied bond, and remains jailed until her sentencing on 11 out of 16 counts of distributing a controlled substance. Each count carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Germeil, who ran a family practice and pain-management clinic in North Miami Beach, was flown back to the United States on Friday after she and her husband, Jean Rene Foureau, were arrested by Haiti National Police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Port Salut, a seaside town in southwestern Haiti, on July 18..

At the time of their arrest, the couple was enjoying a day at the beach. Germeil, according to Haitian police, was going under the name Lacretia Roquel Pratt. Foureau has not been charged and was eventually released by police.

In Oct. 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated southern Haiti, hitting Port-Salut especially hard. Nearly a year after the storm, the area is still struggling to rebuild.

During her court appearance, a shaven-headed Germeil smiled and at times giggled as Goodman asked questions of other federal detainees who were being arraigned. Her attorney, Daniel Ecarius, a public defender, said he doesn’t know when she will be sentenced.

In February, a federal jury found Germeil, who attended medical school in Mexico, guilty of several counts of distributing a controlled substance. When she failed to show up two months later for her sentencing before federal Judge Ursula Ungaro, Ungaro declared her a fugitive. She had been out on a $250,000 bond. As part of her bond agreement, she had to give up her passport.

Despite that, she still managed to make her way to Haiti, where she was born. It’s unclear how she got there, and who may have helped her leave the United States. Those individuals could face charges, while Germeil also faces additional charges.

Jacqueline Charles has reported on Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean for the Miami Herald for over a decade. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, she was awarded a 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize — the most prestigious award for coverage of the Americas.
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