Two Haitians living in South Florida have pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges for their scheme to smuggle semiautomatic pistols into Haiti stuffed in frozen turkeys.
Patrick Louiseau and Florence Toussaint admitted their plan to smuggle up to 110 .380-caliber pistols from Miami to Port-au-Prince as an undeclared _ and lethal _ turkey stuffing.
Louiseau, 26, pleaded guilty to dealing in firearms without a federal license and to shipping weapons overseas without an export license. He could face up to 15 years in prison and fines of as much as $1.25-million.
Toussaint, 27, pleaded guilty to making false statements on a federal firearms form. She faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
U.S. District Judge Jose Gonzalez accepted the guilty pleas and scheduled sentencing for Dec. 30.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lloyd King said Louiseau and Toussaint bought the Lorcin pistols from A-Z Guns and Pawn Inc. in Pompano Beach and smuggled 20 of the firearms into Haiti on May 17.
First, King said, Louiseau purchased the frozen turkeys at local grocery stores. Then they thawed the poultry, stuffed two to three of handguns into each bird and refroze the fowl.
Once refrozen, the loaded birds were packed into Toussaint's and Louiseau's luggage and flown to Haiti.
The judge remarked on the number of rock-solid gobblers lugged by the pair on that May trip to Port-au-Prince.
"It must have been a big suitcase _ or they might have been small turkeys. I don't know," mused Gonzalez.
The first trip worked, but Louiseau and Toussaint were arrested June 7, shortly after they went out and bought 90 more handguns.