Accused Sex Trafficker Providing Counsel to Americans Jailed in Haiti

76714_behind_barsSomeone call a Hollywood producer, because you can’t write plots this thick.

Laura Silsby and her nine volunteers jailed in Haiti for trying to rustle up kids for some sort of hotel room orphanage have sought legal counsel … from a suspected child trafficker.

Jorge Puello has been helping the group since he called Central Valley Baptist Church on January 31 offering his services.  Apparently, the group’s families hadn’t been able to reach the court-approved lawyers assigned to their family members in Haiti, so, grasping at straws, they called Puello.

Puello fired their attorney, Edwin Coq, spoke to the media on their behalf, and advocated for the group.  He disappeared, however, after authorities identified him as Jorge Anibal Torres Puello, a man accused of running a sex ring that was broken up last year in El Salvador.

The group didn’t have any contact with Puello before their arrest, but his connection with their case may slow down their anticipated release early this week.

In the meantime, a picture of leader Laura Silsby is beginning to emerge.  An adoptive family in Bowling Green wonders if she had plans to extort them.

The Picketts had been trying for five years to adopt their children from Haiti, and shortly after the earthquake Richard Pickett headed to Haiti to pick their kids up.

That’s when Malinda Pickett received a series of disturbing phone calls from Silsby, offering to pick up the Pickett’s kids.  The Picketts told her in no uncertain terms that she should stay away from their kids.

“Do you realize?” she told WBKO.com she asked Silsby, “We’ve been waiting 5 years to get our children, you know it’s not that easy to just go to Haiti and pick up kids. You know, you can’t do that.”

When Silsby reached Haiti, she went to the Pickett’s children’s orphanage anyway and asked for the children, saying Malinda had sent her. The kids, fortunately, were already gone.

Whether she stays in jail or Haiti or is allowed to return to the U.S. this week, Laura Silsby clearly has a lot of explaining to do.

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