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article image'Lawyer' for Baptists accused of taking Haitian children arrested

By Stephanie Dearing     Mar 19, 2010 in Crime
Jorge Puello came to the attention of the world after he volunteered to represent 10 American Baptists, held by Haitian authorities after the religious group was accused of child trafficking in January.
After Puello volunteered his "legal" services to the Baptist missionaries in February, it turned out that Puello himself was a wanted man in several countries. Shortly after Puello's criminal past was discovered, Puello disappeared. He had a telephone interview with the Associated Press in February. While he would not say where he was hiding, he told the AP that he was going to El Salvador, where he is wanted for child trafficking women and children to clear his name. Puello is also facing the same charges in the United States. Puello is also known as Jorge Torees Orellana.
It turns out the man never left the Dominican Republic, where he had fled after his story was published. He was arrested there Thursday and Fox News said "... he is expected to come to the United States to face justice." Apparently authorities knew where Puello was for some time now, although Puello's mother claims she negotiated her son's arrest.
The ten Baptist missionaries who were arrested in Haiti have all returned to the United States, except for Laura Silsby, the woman who organized the trip. The ten were arrested when they attempted to leave Haiti with 33 children they said were orphans. The group did not have proper documentation for taking the children out of the country. It was later learned that all of the children had parents. All but one of those children has now been reunited with their parents.
A new charge has been levelled against the missionary group after an unnamed Haitian police officer came forward saying the group had been caught trying to take 40 children out of the country days before they were arrested with the 33 children.
Silsby was facing a trial by jury in February 2010 for allegedly not paying one former employee, who claims Silsby owes her $23,000 in unpaid wages. That trial was deferred until June. In the meanwhile, another comapany has filed a civil suit to recover expenses after Silsby defaulted on rent payments for her office premises last year. Silsby is in serious financial trouble.
More about Jorge puello, Haiti, Interpol, Orphans, Baptist missionaries
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