Triple murder suspect Wesnel Isaac, who was brought to Fort Myers from Haiti Thursday after seven years on the run, will be held without bond.
Isaac appeared briefly Friday morning in 20th Circuit Court.
A state’s attorney argued for him to be held without bond, and his attorney said he would not object. He will bring up any bond issues at a later date, he said.
A trial date is set for June 16, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Isaac was captured in Haiti Saturday. U.S. Marshals picked him up there Thursday and brought him to Fort Myers late that night.
He was the first person from Southwest Florida to be listed on the marshals’ Top 15 most wanted. There was a $25,000 reward placed on him.
He was allegedly involved in a 2007 triple murder in which three men were kidnapped from a Bonita Springs home. Their bodies were found days later in scar in Lehigh Acres.
He faces charges including three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of kidnapping and failure to appear.
From the May 16 edition of The News-Press:
The fugitive suspect in a 2007 triple kidnapping and murder was extradited from Carrefour, Haiti Thursday after nearly seven years on the lam.
Wesnel Isaac, 33, was one of the U.S. Marshal Service’s top 15 fugitives, with a $25,000 reward on his head. He was the first from Southwest Florida to make that list after being placed there in 2013.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” Deputy U.S. Marshal John Kinsey, who went to Haiti to pick up Isaac, said.
Isaac was arrested Saturday by Haitian national police in the city of Carrefour, where he had family, Kinsey said. Three marshals and a representative of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office flew to Haiti early Thursday to pick up Isaac, then flew into Miami in the afternoon. He was driven by car to Fort Myers, arriving at the federal courthouse in Downtown Fort Myers around 9:20 p.m.
Wesnel Isaac, whom authorities suspected in a triple murder in Lehigh Acres in 2007, was captured in Haiti and arrives in Fort Myers. Jack Hardman/news-press.com
He’ll be held overnight in the Lee County jail, with a first appearance in his case scheduled for this morning in the 20th Circuit Court.
Isaac’s movements had been followed closely by marshals and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and they first believed he was in Haiti several years ago, Kinsey said.
“We’d get a lead and we’d exhaust it and it wouldn’t go anywhere. Then we’d get another lead and we’d exhaust that. Haiti kept popping up, popping up here, popping up there,” he said. “We got leads he was in Fort Myers and he’s not there… there was absolutely no indication whatsoever that he has been here since he left.”
A tip that came in about a year ago – for which someone will receive the $25,000 reward – allowed marshals to finally get him. For years, they received information that family and friends were afraid to speak about Isaac’s whereabouts, Kinsey said.
The Haitian government was “instrumental” in Isaac’s capture, he said.
Isaac was one of four men who participated in the kidnapping and murder of three men in 2007.
Robert Barckley, Scott Highfill and Willard Graham were taken from Brackley’s Bonita Springs home and found shot to death in a car in Lehigh Acres on Sept. 3, 2007.
One of the victims, who did not die of his injuries, testified that Isaac and two associates came into his home and shot him “as retaliation for not returning a rental car in a timely manner,” according to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.
Two weeks later, a man driving in Lehigh Acres spotted a vehicle in the bushes on Ruth Avenue South. The car contained the men, whom detectives alleged Isaac and his associates kidnapped after a “drug deal gone bad,” according to Crime Stoppers.
Isaac’s codefendants received stiff sentences for their roles.
Two – Peter Belvilus, then 23, and Georgie Guerrier, 22, received eight years in prison followed by two years’ probation.
The two men received pleaded guilty to charges of accessory after the fact in exchange for their testimony against Loubert Jules, then 22.
Jules was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of false imprisonment. He received three life terms in prison.
Isaac is a documented member – and possibly an enforcer – of the Haitian gang Zoe Pound.
An episode of the television show “Gangland” that profiled the group said its United States headquarters is in Miami’s “Little Haiti” neighborhood.
“Haitian gangs, such as the Florida-based Zoe Pound, have proliferated in many states primarily along the East Coast in recent years,” according to a 2011 report on gangs by the FBI.
The gang can be elusive, Kinsey said.
“They exist but they don’t exist. There’s no defined leader… I know they’re not nice people,” he said.
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