DES MOINES, Iowa - A Bosnian man was sentenced to eight months in prison Friday for failing to disclose that he had been charged with murdering a man when he applied for a U.S. immigration benefit. This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker, Southern District of Iowa; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the investigation.
Rasim Causevic, 35, a native and citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was sentenced Oct. 23 for making false statements to immigration officials. A jury found him guilty of the crime July 29. At sentencing the Court noted that other immigration procedures are pending for Causevic, and that he will remain in U.S. Marshals Service custody.
According to documents and testimony presented in court, Causevic made false statements under oath to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer in February 2009 as part of his application to adjust his immigration status to that of U.S. permanent resident.
USCIS conducted record checks as part of Causevic's application process, which revealed an Interpol notice indicating Causevic was wanted in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During an interview with a USCIS officer, however, Causevic stated that he had never been arrested anywhere in the world, and that he had never killed anyone during his service in the armed forces in the former Yugoslavia before coming to the United States.
USCIS referred the case to ICE agents who determined that Causevic had been charged with murdering a fellow soldier in his own military unit in the former Yugoslavia in 1995. According to the Bosnia and Herzegovina court judgment, Causevic fired at least six bullets at the soldier, killing him. Causevic was convicted of the crime in absentia in 2001 and sentenced to eight years in prison.
"ICE will not allow the United States to be used as a safe haven for criminals who try to evade punishment," said John Morton, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE. "We will ensure that these fugitives are identified and returned to their home countries to face justice."
This case was initiated by USCIS and investigated by ICE. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa.