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Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Timeline: Accessible Version

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Nov. 18, 2022

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested a former high-ranking Somali army officer accused of multiple human rights violations against Somali civilians during the 1980s. Special agents arrested Yusuf Abdi Ali, aka Tukeh, Nov. 17 in Springfield, Virginia for those human rights abuses, which include extrajudicial killing; torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; and arbitrary detention.

Ali, a 69-year-old Springfield resident, served as a lieutenant colonel in the Somali National Army and Commander of the Fifth Brigade in Northwest Somalia from approximately May 1987 to July 1988 under the dictatorship of Siad Barre. During this time, the Somali army committed numerous serious human rights violations against civilians.

Jun. 24, 2022
Former Armed Forces of Liberia commanding general charged with immigration fraud, perjury following HSI Philadelphia investigation

U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Moses Slanger Wright, 69, of Philadelphia, with fraudulently attempting to obtain citizenship, fraud in immigration documents, false statements in relation to naturalization, and perjury following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia.

During Liberia’s First Civil War, the Armed Forces of Liberia was locked in a campaign for control of the country with various rebel groups, most notably Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia. The indictment alleges that the defendant, when applying for U.S. citizenship, was not truthful about his activities during Liberia’s First Civil War while he was a member, and ultimately the commanding general of, the Armed Forces of Liberia. According to the indictment, Wright either personally committed, or ordered Armed Forces of Liberia troops under his command to commit numerous atrocities, including but not limited to, the persecution, murder, and assault of civilian noncombatant Gio and Mano tribesmen, as well as the false arrest and false imprisonment of civilian noncombatants.

Apr. 12, 2022

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 23 fugitives sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations during a nationwide operation which concluded on April 1. ICE’s National Fugitive Operations Program, in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) and the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, worked with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington field offices to arrest these known or suspected human rights violators.

All foreign nationals arrested during this operation have outstanding final orders of removal and are subject to repatriation to their countries of origin. Thirteen individuals are also in the U.S. with convictions for crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated assault with a weapon, burglary, disorderly conduct, damage property, larceny, indecent exposure, resisting officer, and DUI offenses.

Feb. 18, 2022

Pursuant to a joint investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia Field Office and the FBI, a Pennsylvania man was arrested on charges alleging that he tortured a victim in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in 2015. A superseding indictment returned in the Middle District of Pennsylvania charges Ross Roggio, 53, of Stroudsburg, with suffocating the victim with a belt, threatening to cut off one of the victim’s fingers, and directing Kurdish soldiers to inflict other severe physical and mental pain and suffering on the victim.

Feb. 2, 2022

A Guatemalan national previously removed to his home country by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) was convicted in a Guatemalan court for his role in sexual violence targeting indigenous women in the 1980s. Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, 66, was convicted of crimes against humanity by a High-Risk Court in Guatemala City, Guatemala and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

Oct. 28, 2021

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents last week confirmed the departure of a Rwandan man suspected of human rights abuses in his home country, who had been residing in Buffalo, New York. Peter Kalimu, aka Pierre Kalimu, aka Fidele Twizere, was denaturalized and ordered removed from the U.S. following charges alleging his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He departed the U.S., Oct. 21.

According to court documents Kalimu was living in Rwanda in 1994, when violent conflict erupted between the country’s two major ethnic groups, the Hutus and the Tutsis. During the conflict, often referred to as the Rwandan genocide, members of the majority Hutu population persecuted the minority Tutsis, committing mass murder and looting their property, among other crimes. An estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during the three-month genocide. The complaint against Kalimu alleged that he participated in two attacks on Tutsi families in his neighborhood during the genocide, and that he looted property from Tutsi families whose houses he then destroyed. Kalimu denied these allegations.

Oct. 7, 2021

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers on Wednesday removed a Rwandan national wanted for genocide in his home country. Oswald Rukemuye, 58, was removed via ICE Air Operations and turned over to law enforcement authorities in Rwanda to face justice for his crimes. On Nov. 3, 2007, Rukemuye was convicted of genocide in absentia in a local Rwandan gacaca court. On Sept. 18, 2008, the Government of Rwanda issued an indictment and arrest warrant for him, charging him with genocide, murder, extermination, leadership, and participation in a criminal gang.

Rukemuye is a citizen of Rwanda who was admitted to the U.S. in 1996. Evidence indicating that Rukemuye obscured his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide led ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cincinnati to open an investigation. Non-governmental organizations also identified Rukemuye as the head of the National Republican Movement for Development (MRND) in the Gisozi sector, where he issued orders to murder Hutu politicians and men, women, and children identified as being from the Tutsi ethnic group. Special agents traveled to Rwanda and interviewed more than a dozen individuals who identified Rukemuye as a leader in the local group that carried out much of the genocide, including directing the murder of Tutsis at the St. Famille church where thousands of people were killed. The investigation was supported by the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center.

Aug. 30, 2021
Back of HSI Police Vest

Jose Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales had been living in the U.S. since 1988, until an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations revealed his former membership in a Guatemalan army unit that carried out the 1982 Dos Erres massacre of more than 200 unarmed villagers, including women and children. Ortiz Morales, the fifth participant in the Dos Erres massacre living in the U.S. to be targeted by ICE for enforcement action, pleaded guilty to lying on his naturalization application, was removed by ICE and turned over to Guatemalan authorities in May 2021.

Individuals like Ortiz Morales attempt to evade justice in their home countries by living secret lives in the United States, and concealing their past participation in war crimes and human rights abuses when applying for legal status in the U.S.

Many of these cases come to light after an investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) field offices and the HSI-led Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) located in Washington, D.C.

May 12, 2021
Jose Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales
Jose Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales

Jose Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales, who was wanted in his native country for his role in the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians in Dos Erres, Guatemala, in 1982, was turned over by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to law enforcement authorities in Guatemala Friday, May 7.

Related News Releases

ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1982 massacre

ICE removes ex-member of Guatemalan special forces linked to 1980s massacre

Former Guatemalan special forces officer sentenced for covering up involvement in 1982 massacre

ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1980s massacre

Apr. 16, 2021

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New Orleans officers removed a 51-year-old Rwandan national and turned her over to law enforcement authorities in Rwanda on Friday.

Beatrice Munyenyezi was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for procuring her naturalization based on false statements to immigration officers about her role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Munyenyezi participated, aided, and abetted in the persecution and murder of Tutsi people. Her conviction was the first in the United States for concealing one’s personal participation in the Rwandan genocide.

Feb. 20, 2021
Friedrich Karl Berger

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard to Germany, Friday.

Friedrich Karl Berger, a German citizen, participated in Nazi-sponsored persecution while serving in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system (Neuengamme). He was ordered removed from the United States in February 2020.

Related News Releases

Removal order upheld against Tennessee man who served as Nazi concentration camp guard during WWII

Tennessee man ordered removed to Germany based on service as a concentration camp guard during WWII

Nov. 19, 2020
Friedrich Karl Berger

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has dismissed the appeal of Tennessee resident Friedrich Karl Berger, a German citizen who was ordered removed from the United States earlier this year on the basis of his service in Nazi Germany in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system (Neuengamme). The investigation was initiated by DOJ’s Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section (HRSP) and was conducted in partnership with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center and HSI’s Nashville Special Agent in Charge office. The removal case and appeal were handled jointly by attorneys in ICE New Orleans Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (Memphis), and attorneys from DOJ’s HRSP, with the assistance of the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center.

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ICE removes WWII Nazi concentration camp guard to Germany

Tennessee man ordered removed to Germany based on service as a concentration camp guard during WWII

Sep. 21, 2020

On Sept. 11, the National Criminal Court of Spain convicted Inocente Orlando Montano, 78, a retired Salvadoran military officer, and sentenced him to 133 years and three months for his role in the 1989 murder of five Jesuit priests during the 12-year Salvadoran civil war. Montano, a former resident of Everett, Massachusetts, was extradited from the United States to Spain in 2017. His extradition followed a conviction for immigration fraud and perjury in the United States. The case leading to the U.S. conviction was developed by the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and investigated by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston. It relied and built on decades of efforts to seek accountability for human rights violations committed during the Salvadoran civil war.

Related News Releases

US extradites former Salvadoran official to Spain following ICE investigation

Jun. 11, 2020

Press conference

A Gambian man previously residing in Denver, Colorado, was arrested today on torture charges stemming from his actions specifically intended to inflict severe physical pain and suffering on individuals in his custody and control in The Gambia in 2006.

An indictment was returned June 2 and unsealed today charging Michael Sang Correa, 41, a national of The Gambia, with one count of conspiracy to commit torture and six counts of inflicting torture on specific individuals. Correa made his first court appearance on the charges today before U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter in the District of Colorado.

Apr. 29, 2020
ICE removes Liberian security forces commander

A member of the Liberian security forces under the regime of Liberian President Charles Taylor was removed Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). Alexander Mentol Zinnah, 56, arrived in Liberia escorted by ERO officers on board an ICE charter removal flight and was turned over to Liberian law enforcement authorities.

In 2017, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) St. Paul arrested Zinnah for immigration violations and violating the terms of his parole into the U.S. HSI St. Paul’s investigation revealed Zinnah was a member of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), a rebel group led by Charles Taylor that engaged in a wide range of human rights abuses including massacres, torture, and kidnapping. Zinnah was also a member of the Liberian National Police and served as a commander in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia, during the time that Charles Taylor was President of Liberia. Charles Taylor was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to 50 years imprisonment by an international court for human rights violations in Liberia from 1997-2003. He is currently serving his sentence in the United Kingdom.

Mar. 5, 2020

Friedrich Karl Berger

A U.S. Immigration Judge in Memphis, Tennessee has issued a removal order against a German citizen and Tennessee resident, based on his service in Nazi Germany in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system (Neuengamme).

After a two-day trial, U.S. Immigration Judge Rebecca L. Holt issued her opinion finding Friedrich Karl Berger removable under the Immigration and Nationality Act because his “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place” constituted assistance in Nazi-sponsored persecution. The court found that Berger served at a Neuengamme sub-camp near Meppen, Germany, and that the prisoners there included “Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, Latvians, French, Italians, and political opponents” of the Nazis.

Related News Releases

ICE removes WWII Nazi concentration camp guard to Germany

Removal order upheld against Tennessee man who served as Nazi concentration camp guard during WWII

Mar. 3, 2020
Gilberto Jordan, 64

A former member of the Guatemalan army wanted for participating in the Dos Erres massacre nearly four decades ago, was removed Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Miami.

Gilberto Jordan, 64, arrived in Guatemala escorted by ERO officers on board an ICE Air Operations charter removal flight. Upon arrival, Jordan was immediately turned over to Guatemalan law enforcement officials.

Related News Releases

ICE removes Guatemalan citizen for alleged human rights violations in connection with 1982 Dos Erres massacre

ICE removes ex-member of Guatemalan special forces linked to 1980s massacre

Former Guatemalan special forces officer sentenced for covering up involvement in 1982 massacre

ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1980s massacre

Jan. 29, 2020
Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, aka Francisco Cuxun-Alvarado, 64
HSI Guatemala

A Guatemalan national wanted for his role in sexual violence targeting indigenous women in the 1980s, was removed to his native country by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers Jan. 29. His removal follows a federal conviction in December 2019, for illegally reentering the United States.

Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, aka Francisco Cuxun-Alvarado, 64, who had been held in federal custody since his indictment in May 2019, pleaded guilty to one count of illegal reentry into the United States in September 2019, and was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to six months in prison. Cuxum Alvarado was apprehended as a result of the work of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and officers with ERO.

Related News Releases

Guatemalan human rights violator apprehended by ICE HSI, ERO Boston facing federal charges

Dec. 10, 2019

interlocking hands

The HRVWCC works in close collaboration with the FBI’s International Human Rights Unit and other U.S. government and foreign law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, prosecute, extradite and remove from the United States individuals who have carried out genocide, torture, war crimes and other serious human rights violations. The HRVWCC has also sought to deny perpetrators of human rights abuses entry to the United States. While the United States welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and other persons who have been victims of war crimes and other atrocities, it will not be a safe haven to those who commit such atrocities.

Dec. 2, 2019
Samayoa Cabrera

Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed Juan Alecio Samayoa Cabrera, 69, a Guatemalan citizen wanted in Guatemala in connection with abuses committed against indigenous Mayans in the early 1980s, Nov. 27, 2019.

Samayoa Cabrera, a former civil patrol leader, has been charged in Guatemala for his alleged role in more than 150 human rights abuses, including torture, rape and extrajudicial killing, in El Quichè.

On March 29, 2018, an immigration judge ordered Samayoa removed from the United States. His appeal was dismissed by the Board of Immigration Appeals Sept. 10, 2018. On Oct. 1, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denied in part, and dismissed in part, his petition for review. This case was litigated by ICE’s Boston Office of the Chief Counsel with the support of the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Providence, Boston, and Guatemala City.

Nov. 18, 2019

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a Jacksonville, Florida man Thursday to Bosnia after he was released from U.S. prison for fraudulently procuring U.S. citizenship.

Slobo Maric, 59, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on March 27, 2017, and his U.S. citizenship was revoked for unlawfully obtaining that status by failing to disclose – during his naturalization process – his membership in the Bosnian Army and crimes he committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian Conflict in the 1990s. He was released from prison and taken into custody by ERO on Aug. 24, 2018.

Related News Releases

Former Bosnian prison guard sentenced for fraudulently procuring US citizenship

Oct. 25, 2019

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a Charlotte, North Carolina, man Tuesday to Bosnia after he was released from U.S. prison upon completion of his sentence for lying to obtain lawful permanent resident status by concealing his military status and criminal activity during the war in Bosnia. This case was investigated by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Charlotte office, with support from the agency’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).

Milan Trisic, 56, pleaded guilty Dec. 18, 2017, to a single count of obtaining a permanent resident card, commonly referred to as a “green card,” by making materially false claims and statements and was sentenced to 18 months in prison March 28, 2018.

Related News Releases

Man who concealed service in military unit involved in Srebrenica Massacre sentenced for immigration fraud

Bosnian human rights abuser pleads guilty to immigration fraud

Sep. 6, 2019

Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Charlotte arrested one suspected human rights violator at large in the community during a 3-day period, from August 27-29th. The alien was arrested as part of a nation-wide operation, No Safe Haven V, where 39 known or suspected human rights violators and war criminals with final orders of removal were arrested throughout the U.S.

ERO Charlotte officers arrested an individual from Central America affiliated with an organization engaged in documented human rights atrocities against citizens in their country of origin. The individual will be removed from United States.

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ICE arrests 39 suspected human rights violators across the US during Operation No Safe Haven V

Sep. 6, 2019

Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Atlanta arrested two suspected human rights violators at large in the community during a 3-day period, from August 27-29th. The two were arrested as part of a nation-wide operation, No Safe Haven V, where 39 known or suspected human rights violators and war criminals with final orders of removal were arrested throughout the U.S.

ERO Atlanta officers arrested an individual from Central America involved in military operation that specifically targeted women and children and an individual from Africa affiliated with a regime directly responsible for human rights atrocities against citizens in his country of origin. The two individuals had already received final orders of removal and will be removed from United States.

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ICE arrests 39 suspected human rights violators across the US during Operation No Safe Haven V

Sep. 5, 2019

Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore arrested two suspected human rights violators at large in the community during a 3-day period, from August 27-29th. The two were arrested as part of a nationwide operation, No Safe Haven, where 39 known or suspected human rights violators and war criminals with final orders of removal were arrested throughout the U.S.

ERO Baltimore officers arrested a Central American man who was affiliated with an organization complicit in alleged kidnappings, inflicted prisoner injuries, and alleged murders in his home country, and a West African man connected to a regime directly responsible for human rights abuses of citizens in his home country. The two were issued final orders of removal to be removed from United States.

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ICE arrests 39 suspected human rights violators across the US during Operation No Safe Haven V

Sep. 5, 2019

Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New York arrested six during a three-day period, from August 27-29th, in the New York City metropolitan area.

During the operation, ERO officers arrested six aliens at-large in the community. The six are known or suspected human rights violators who were issued final orders of removal to be removed from United States.

Related News Releases

ICE arrests 39 suspected human rights violators across the US during Operation No Safe Haven V

Sep. 4, 2019

2 officers escorting an individual in handcuffs

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 39 fugitives – 30 males and nine females – sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations during a nationwide operation that took place from Aug. 27 to 29.

The ICE National Fugitive Operations Program in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, and the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, worked with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal (ERO) Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Newark, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco field offices to arrest these fugitives.

War criminals among us: inside the quiet effort to prosecute and deport violators disguised as refugees

Jul. 8, 2019

FOX News reports that for decades, war criminals have lived alongside those they tortured or displaced. Under the guise of being a refugee, they’ve sought new lives in America. Quiet efforts are underway to expose and punish as many of these hidden offenders as possible - and ensure none find a lasting haven in the U.S. "What survivors want is for the truth to come out through the due process," Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Accountability told Fox News. "When we prove with evidence, that is really empowering for individuals who have suffered." The firm has successfully represented 45 Cambodian Americans in taking on senior Khmer Rouge officials responsible for carrying out mass genocide, starvation and other atrocities in the 1970s under the repressive rule of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. Leading the charge on the U.S. government front is the Human Rights Violators War Crimes Center - which was instituted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement more than a decade ago and is operated by Homeland Security Investigations.

With an interagency approach and a growing team of about 50 analysts, researchers, attorneys and investigators focused on different geographic regions of the world, the HRVWCC relentlessly investigates individuals residing within the United States, or U.S persons abroad, suspected of having executed serious human rights violations, including genocide, torture and war crimes. "When conflicts happen, perpetrators find themselves in the mix of the refugee or displaced persons’ flow. Over time, sometimes we can find out fairly quickly and other times it takes ten or fifteen years for someone to come to us and say ‘hey, this guy did this back in my country,’" HRVWCC Chief Mark Shaffer told Fox News. Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 415 individuals for human rights-related violations under an array of criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same 16-year period, Fox News has learned, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed more than 900 known or suspected human rights violators and has facilitated the departure of 152 others from U.S soil. As it stands, HSI has more than 170 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is currently pursuing more than 1600 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators in the U.S. Where possible, the HRVWCC teams up with the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue criminal prosecutions pegged to one of four specific areas - genocide, torture, war crimes and recruitment or use of child soldiers - but most often, authorities instead have to turn to the Immigration and Nationality Act and use administrative charges of immigration fraud.

Source: FOX News [7/8/2019 11:56 AM, Hollie McKay, 9880K]

 
Jul. 1, 2019

On Monday, July 1, a man who fled Rwanda near the end of the 1994 genocide was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for immigration fraud and perjury in connection with his application for benefits in the United States, following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston and ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center with significant assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. State Department and the Revere Police Department.

Jean Leonard Teganya, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Denis Saylor IV to 97 months in prison. Upon completion of his sentence, Teganya will face removal proceedings. In addition, Judge Saylor found that Teganya obstructed justice by committing perjury when he testified during trial. In April 2019, Teganya was convicted by a jury of two counts of immigration fraud and three counts of perjury.

Related News Releases

Rwandan human rights violator convicted on immigration fraud, perjury charges connected with 1994 genocide in case led by ICE HSI Boston, ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center

Rwandan man charged in Massachusetts with immigration fraud and perjury

May 30, 2019

A Guatemalan national wanted for his role in the 1980s massacre of indigenous Guatemalans was charged with illegal re-entry into the United States in federal court in Boston on May 29. He was recently apprehended by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officials in Boston.

Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, a/k/a Francisco Cuxun-Alvarado, 64, was indicted on one count of illegal reentry into the United States and detained following arraignment on that charge.

Related News Releases

ICE removes suspected human rights violator to Guatemala

May 29, 2019

A Guatemalan national wanted for his role in the 1980s massacre of indigenous Guatemalans was charged yesterday in federal court in Boston.  

Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, a/k/a Francisco Cuxun-Alvarado, 64, was indicted on one count of illegal reentry into the United States. Cuxum Alvarado was detained following an arraignment yesterday. 

May 23, 2019

A naturalized U.S. citizen residing in Alexandria, Virginia was sentenced to 37 months in prison for having fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia and Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C made the announcement.

Mergia Negussie Habteyes, 58, previously pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful procurement of naturalization.  Negussie was sentenced by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia. 

Apr. 5, 2019

In a case led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston and ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, a man who fled Rwanda near the end of the 1994 genocide was convicted today by a federal jury for immigration fraud and perjury in connection with his application for benefits in the United States.

Jean Leonard Teganya, 48, was convicted of two counts of immigration fraud and three counts of perjury. U.S. District Court Judge F. Denis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for July 1, 2019.

Related News Releases

Rwandan man sentenced for immigration fraud and perjury in connection with 1994 genocide

Rwandan man charged in Massachusetts with immigration fraud and perjury

Nov. 7, 2018

Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) on Tuesday removed a Peruvian citizen wanted in Peru in connection with the 1991 “Santa Barbara Massacre.”

Dennis Wilfredo Pacheco-Zambrano, 48, a former Peruvian army second sergeant, has been charged in Peru for his alleged role in the July 4, 1991, torture, rape and extrajudicial killing of 15 Peruvian civilians in the rural village of Santa Barbara, Peru. The killings were part of a larger campaign of military violence against the civilian population in the region that took place between 1980 and 2000.

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West Texas ICE special agents arrest former Peruvian army sergeant wanted for his alleged role in 'Santa Barbara Massacre'

Oct. 11, 2018

HSI Vest and badge

A former agent of Colombia’s now disbanded intelligence agency, the Administrative Security Department or Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), was arrested on immigration violations Oct. 5 by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations New York office.

Javier Alfredo Valle Anaya, a 50-year-old citizen of Colombia, obtained his status in the U.S. through fraudulent means, which made him subject to removal. He was convicted in his native country on criminal charges for the 2004 murder of Alfredo Rafael Correa de Andreis, a sociologist, and his bodyguard Edilberto Ochoa Martinez. As a result, he is wanted by Colombian law enforcement authorities.

Sep. 20, 2018

Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Angelo arrested a Peruvian national Monday wanted in Peru in connection with the 1991 “Santa Barbara Massacre.”

On Sept. 17, HSI San Angelo special agents arrested former Peruvian Army Second Sergeant Dennis Wilfredo Pacheco-Zambrano, 48, in San Angelo. Pacheco is wanted in Peru for his alleged role in the July 4, 1991, torture, rape and extrajudicial killing of 15 Peruvian civilians in the rural village of Santa Barbara, Peru.

Related News Releases

ICE Dallas officers remove former Peruvian army sergeant wanted for his alleged role in 'Santa Barbara Massacre'

Aug. 21, 2018

Jakiw Palij

Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi labor camp guard in German-occupied Poland and a postwar resident of Queens, New York, has been removed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Germany, Attorney General Jeff Sessions of the U.S. Department of Justice, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and ICE Deputy Director and Acting Director Ronald D. Vitiello announced today. ICE removed Palij based on an order of removal obtained by the Department of Justice in 2004.

Aug. 3, 2018

officer badge

For the past 15 years, the center and its partners have worked collaboratively to support ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) efforts to bring numerous individuals to justice for human rights-related violations, such as genocide, torture, ethnic cleansing and various other forms of persecution. Through its work over the years, the center and its dedicated personnel have ensured that the United States does not become a safe haven for human rights abusers. It has consistently supported this administration’s National Security strategy which mandates that the U.S. “will not remain silent in the face of evil” and will “hold perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities accountable.”

Jul. 26, 2018

A Liberian national was sentenced to time served and one year unsupervised release July 26, following an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Isaac T. Kannah, 51, of Philadelphia, PA, who was convicted of misprision of a felony, was sentenced to time served and one year unsupervised release by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. In addition, the defendant has agreed to revocation of his immigration status and will voluntarily depart the United States after immigration proceedings.

@ICEgov on X

Liberian national sentenced in false testimony case

Jul. 3, 2018

On July 3, 2018, a defendant in Collingdale, Pennsylvania was found guilty by a federal jury of immigration fraud and perjury charges, following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led investigation, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, 72, lied on his application for U.S. citizenship by denying that he advocated the overthrow of any government by force or violence and by denying that he ever persecuted any person because of membership in a social group or their political opinion.

@ICEgov on X

Liberian war criminal living in Delaware County convicted of immigration fraud and perjury

Jun. 25, 2018
ICE removes Liberian human rights violator

A Liberian national, who served as a bodyguard to former Liberian President Charles Taylor and was a member of a paramilitary police unit called the Secret Security Service (SSS), was returned to his home country June 19 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers. 

An ICE investigation revealed that prior to coming to the United States, Charles Cooper, 45, while a member of the SSS and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, was directly involved in the persecution of civilians in Liberia. Cooper was also identified as a member of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, a rebel group founded by Charles Taylor that committed numerous human rights violations.

How the U.S. Became a Haven for War Criminals

Apr. 29, 2018

New Republic reports Liberia’s back-to-back civil wars, from 1989-2003, devastated the country and killed an estimated 250,000 people. Some well-known warlords have since been promoted to the highest levels of government in Liberia; others fled to the United States, building families and businesses. One cruel side effect of this migration has been the unexpected stateside reunion of perpetrators with their 7 erstwhile victims. Authorities estimate that as many as two-thousand human rights violators and war criminals have sought refuge in U.S. diaspora communities. In May 2014, 73-year old Philadelphia resident Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu — the articulate, well-dressed spokesperson, co-founder, and for several years defense minister of Charles Taylor’s infamous National Patriotic Front of Liberia — became one of the few Liberian leaders to be arrested in the United States and charged with multiple counts of immigration fraud and perjury. After a trial last June featuring testimony from Liberian victims, he was convicted in July 2018 on eleven counts of immigration-related perjury and fraud related to lying about his violent past. His sentencing has been postponed multiple times, most recently having been scheduled for April 30. It is now expected to take place sometime in May. Prosecutors in the U.S. and human rights groups in Liberia have celebrated the case as a victory. But the nature of the charges — immigration fraud rather than rape, murder, child-soldier conscription, or other war crimes; and nearly three decades after the offenses rather than one or two years — have also highlighted the U.S. government’s inadequate legal tools in cases like these, allowing human rights violators to live freely in the U.S. for years, even decades. Between under-resourced departments for identifying and tracking perpetrators, and the absence of robust laws permitting prosecutors to charge individuals with human rights abuses committed abroad, the United States has become, ironically, one of the more attractive locations for fleeing war criminals, who, depending on their offense, may only face prosecution on a technicality of having lied on their immigration forms — a so-called Al Capone prosecution — or deportation, rather than a prison sentence.

In recent years, efforts to introduce or amend legislation that would make it easier to prosecute or remove war criminals for their original crimes have become politically divisive, caught between a Republican Party wary of international human rights law, and a Democratic Party that’s grown increasingly receptive to calls to abolish the agency largely responsible for investigating and prosecuting such cases: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The U.S. government for decades has been hunting down war criminals who have evaded justice abroad, relying on a patchwork of scant legislation to do so. In the aftermath of World War II, thousands of Nazi war criminals took up residence in the U.S., often with the assistance of American intelligence officials who created a “safe haven” for Nazis and their collaborators. In the late 1970s, the Justice Department created the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) to investigate and prosecute these Nazi offenders. In 2010, OSI was folded into a new Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, investigating and prosecuting human rights violators to varying degrees of success. It has been sharply criticized by human rights advocates who, The Washington Post reported in 2018, consider the unit risk-averse, and say it “routinely rejects cases.” Tracking and apprehending foreign offenders has also traditionally been a responsibility of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and, since 2003, of ICE. The current unit within ICE dedicated to the task — the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) — is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removal cases and 135 active criminal investigations involving foreign offenders. With a staff of roughly 50, and a budget of around $5.3 million, they’re less than 1 percent the size of the nearly twelve thousand strong, $4.9 billion Enforcement and Removal Operations branch, which has become a ubiquitous, terrifying presence for immigrant communities under President Trump.

New Republic [04/29/2018 12:00 PM, Annie Hylton]

 
Apr. 20, 2018

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A Liberian national was sentenced in federal court Thursday to 30 years in prison for immigration fraud and perjury. The prison term marks the longest sentence for a human rights violator case in the history of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC), which supported the probe. The sentencing also caps an extensive investigation led by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia.

Mohammed Jabbateh, 51, a violent and ruthless Liberian war lord also known as “Jungle Jabbah,” who had been living in East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. Jabbateh, 51, was found guilty in October 2017 of two counts of fraud in immigration documents and two counts of perjury.

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Liberian national found guilty of immigration fraud, perjury

Apr. 19, 2018

an individual being escorted by officers

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations arrested 33 fugitives sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations during a nationwide operation this week.

During the three-day operation that concluded Wednesday, the ICE National Fugitive Operations Program in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center and the ICE National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center (NCATC), arrested these fugitives via the ICE field offices of Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; New York City; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Seattle; San Francisco; and St. Paul, Minnesota.

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ICE arrests 33 with history of human rights violation across the US during Operation No Safe Haven IV

Mar. 29, 2018

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A Bosnian Serb residing in North Carolina was sentenced to 18 months in prison today for his criminal conviction of obtaining a Permanent Resident Card (I-551), commonly referred to as a “green card,” by making materially false claims and statements on his initial application for immigration status, which served as the basis for obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident status. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with support from ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina and Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made the announcement.

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ICE removes Bosnian human rights abuser

Bosnian human rights abuser pleads guilty to immigration fraud

Feb. 9, 2018

The former chief of the National Police in Guatemala’s second-largest city was arrested Friday on visa fraud charges after he allegedly failed to disclose to U.S. immigration authorities that he had been charged with murdering two political activists in Guatemala.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Catalino Esteban Valiente Alonzo, 77, of Fontana, who was previously the chief of the National Police in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, after Valiente was charged in a one-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury.

This case was investigated by HSI’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC). HSI Attaché in Guatemala City and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate assisted in the investigation.

Jan. 31, 2018
Slobodan Mutic, 54, is wanted by Croatian authorities for aggravated murder

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Philadelphia removed a former soldier of the Republika Serbian Krajina who failed to disclose his role in the ethnically motivated murder of a Croatian couple during the war in the former Yugoslavia on Tuesday, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWC).

Slobodan Mutic, 54, is wanted by Croatian authorities for aggravated murder. He was ordered removed on Oct. 23, 2017, by a federal immigration judge based on his criminal conviction. On Jan. 6, 2016, Slobodan was sentenced to two years in prison, for knowingly and willingly possessing a Form I-94, arrival/departure record, knowing it to have been procured by means of any false claim or statement, or to have been otherwise procured by fraud and unlawfully obtained.

Dec. 18, 2017

A Bosnian Serb residing in Charlotte, North Carolina pleaded guilty today to lying to obtain lawful permanent resident status by concealing his military status and criminal activity during the war in Bosnia. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with support from ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).

Milan Trisic, 54, pleaded guilty to a single count of obtaining a Permanent Resident Card, commonly referred to as a “green card,” by making materially false claims and statements.

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ICE removes Bosnian human rights abuser

Man who concealed service in military unit involved in Srebrenica Massacre sentenced for immigration fraud

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Bosnian human rights abuser pleads guilty to immigration fraud

Dec. 11, 2017

A Liberian national pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony Dec. 7, following an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).

Isaac Kannah, 51, of Philadelphia, faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As a result of the plea agreement, Kannah agreed that: (1) a felony of obstruction of proceedings occurred before a department or agency of the U.S.; (2) he knew of its commission; (3) he failed to notify relevant authorities; and (4) he did an affirmative act to conceal the crime.  Kannah, who has been in the country since the 1990s, also agreed to the re-opening of his immigration proceedings and to leave the U.S. following the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.

Related News Releases

Liberian human rights violator removed from US

Nov. 29, 2017

Inocente Orlando Montano, 75

A former Salvadoran government official was extradited to Spain Tuesday for his alleged involvement in the 1989 murder of eight people, which stemmed from a notorious incident that occurred in El Salvador during that country’s civil war.

This extradition followed an extensive criminal investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Inocente Orlando Montano, 75, formerly residing in Everett, Massachusetts, and 19 other former Salvadoran military officials were indicted in Spain for the 1989 murders of five Spanish Jesuit priests during the 10-year Salvadoran civil conflict.  An arrest warrant for Montano was issued in March 2011 by a Spanish magistrate judge.

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Spain convicts, sentences Salvadoran man to 133 years for 1989 'Jesuit Massacre'

Nov. 1, 2017

Deportation officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) on Tuesday removed a former Colombian national army battalion commander accused of human rights violations.

Retired Lt. Col. Oscar Gomez Cifuentes, 53, was implicated in five killings in Colombia that allegedly occurred while he was the commander of Infantry Battalion 43 Efrain Rojas Acevedo.  These allegations relate to a disputed report stating that five persons were killed by the battalion during a confrontation at a Colombia ranch in November 2007. This incident was among other incidents reported by military units as “positive” killings of guerrillas in combat; but later these killings were alleged to have been executions committed outside of combat. Such killings are referred to as “false positives.”

Oct. 18, 2017

A Liberian national was found guilty Wednesday of two counts of fraud in immigration documents and two counts of perjury, following an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia.

Mohammed Jabbateh, 51, aka “Jungle Jabbah” a citizen of Liberia, lied about his activities during Liberia’s first civil war when applying for immigration benefits. Jabbateh was not truthful about his activities as a member of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) and later ULIMO-K, rebel groups that battled for control of Liberia. Jabbateh was a battalion commander in ULIMO and ULIMO-K from approximately 1992 through 1995.

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Liberian warlord 'Jungle Jabbah' receives historic sentence in immigration fraud case

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Liberian national found guilty of immigration fraud, perjury

Sep. 8, 2017

A 55-year-old Hyattsville man was sentenced Friday to 11.5 months in prison for attempting to unlawfully procure naturalization. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Baltimore.

In August 1988, Morales entered the United States by crossing the international border from Mexico into Texas illegally. He traveled to the Washington, D.C. metro-area, where he resided and legally worked for many years. He applied for and was granted lawful permanent resident status in 1990.

On July 13, 2006, Morales sought U.S. citizenship by submitting the N-400 naturalization application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On his N-400 and during a USCIS official interview, Morales falsely claimed under oath that he was not a part of any group reportable to USCIS. In actuality, he was a member of the Kaibiles, a military unit involved in serious human rights offenses, and he sought to conceal his involvement with that military unit. This false representation was a material factor when immigration authorities reviewed Morales’ application for U.S. citizenship.

 

Aug. 4, 2017

A Rwandan man, who fled his home country near the end of the 1994 genocide, was arrested in Massachusetts by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Friday and charged in federal court with immigration fraud and perjury in connection with his application for benefits.

Jean Leonard Teganya, 46, was charged with one count of immigration fraud and one count of perjury. Teganya made his first appearance in federal court in Boston on Friday afternoon.

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Rwandan man sentenced for immigration fraud and perjury in connection with 1994 genocide

Rwandan human rights violator convicted on immigration fraud, perjury charges connected with 1994 genocide in case led by ICE HSI Boston, ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center

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Rwandan man charged in Massachusetts with immigration fraud and perjury

Jun. 9, 2017
Jose Francisco Grijalva Monroy, 49, a citizen of El Salvador

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a former soldier today who was involved in torturing suspected guerillas during his service in the Salvadorian Army. ERO officers turned him over to immigration authorities in El Salvador.

According to court documents, Jose Francisco Grijalva Monroy, 49, a citizen of El Salvador, testified that as a soldier in the Salvadoran army, he tortured suspected guerrillas by hanging them by their hands from trees and slapping their chests with his bare hands. Monroy also admitted that he tied suspected guerrillas to the back of an army Jeep and dragged them on the road until their skin came off. 

May 31, 2017

A former Colombian National Army battalion commander was deported Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) after a federal immigration judge found him removable.

Retired Lt. Col. Hector Alejandro Cabuya de León, 52, was the commander of the Pantano de Vargas Battalion of the Colombian Army in 2002 and 2003. He is wanted in his native country on criminal charges for forced disappearance, homicide of a protected person, and weapons and ammunition trafficking. The charges relate to the killing of four persons, allegedly outside of combat, who were nonetheless reported as combat causalities in October 2002. The allegations are among other incidents that were reported by military units as “positive” killings of guerrillas in combat, but later alleged to have been executions committed outside of combat. Such killings are referred to as “false positives.”

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ICE arrests former Colombian Army commander

May 23, 2017

A Serbian national wanted for crimes he allegedly committed during his military service during the Bosnian Civil War was removed Monday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Miami.

Srdjan Bilic, 44, departed Miami International Airport Monday morning escorted by ERO officers and arrived Tuesday morning at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, Serbia, where he was transferred into the custody of Serbian law enforcement.

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ICE removes Serbian man who allegedly participated in Bosnian genocide

May 17, 2017

An Akron, Ohio, man was ordered deported on Tuesday for failing to disclose his involvement in a military unit engaged in war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

David A. Sierleja, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Steve Francis, acting special agent in charge of HSI Detroit, announced the sentencing.

Ilija Josipovic, 59, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of immigration documents procured by fraud. U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson ordered Josipovic removed from the United States. He was also sentenced to eight months of house arrest.

Apr. 24, 2017
Enrique Ariza Rivas, 49

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a former director of intelligence with Colombia’s now dissolved Administrative Department of Security (DAS) from the United States.

Enrique Ariza Rivas, 49, a Colombian citizen, has been charged in Colombia, together with other former officials of the DAS, with aggravated psychological torture of a journalist. Ariza Rivas has also been charged in Colombia for various crimes relating to unlawful wiretapping.

Mar. 28, 2017

A Jacksonville, Florida, man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison and his U.S. citizenship was revoked for unlawfully obtaining that status by failing to disclose – during his naturalization process – his membership in the Bosnian Army and crimes that he committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian Conflict in the 1990s.

According to the plea agreement, in 1993, Slobo Maric, 56, served as a shift leader of a detention facility in Bosnia that housed captured Bosnian-Croat soldiers. Many of the guards in the facility routinely subjected detainees to serious physical abuse and humiliation. Maric selected detainees for other guards to abuse, directly participated in abusing several prisoners and sent prisoners on dangerous and deadly work details on the front line of the conflict.

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ICE removes former Bosnian Army prison guard

Mar. 14, 2017

A citizen and national of Ethiopia was removed Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) to his native country after serving 10 years in prison.

Khalid Adem, 41, a native and citizen of Ethiopia was convicted in Gwinnett Country, Georgia, of aggravated battery and cruelty to children in the first degree on Nov. 1, 2006, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Using scissors, Adem mutilated the genitals of his 2-year-old daughter. Adem was ordered removed Oct. 31, 2016, based on his criminal convictions. Adem’s case is believed to be the first criminal conviction in the United States for female genital mutilation, and became the catalyst for the specific criminalization of female genital mutilation under Georgia state law.

Mar. 6, 2017

A former Colombian National Army battalion commander was arrested Feb. 28 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Retired Lt. Col. Hector Alejandro Cabuya de León, 52, was arrested by special agents from HSI’s Dallas office. He is wanted in his native country on criminal charges for forced disappearance, homicide of a protected person, and weapons and ammunition trafficking.

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Feb. 10, 2017

The United States has filed a civil action against a 54-year-old Plano, Texas, man accused of unlawfully procuring his U.S. citizenship.

This action was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston, Eastern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and will be litigated by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation District Court Section. 

Arnoldo Antonio Vasquez, a native of El Salvador, is alleged to have concealed and misrepresented his involvement in the extra-judicial killing of 10 civilians in San Sebastian, El Salvador, in September 1988, when he was an officer in the Salvadoran military. Vasquez was previously identified by then-Vice President Dan Quayle in a list of Salvadoran soldiers responsible for these killings. Vasquez concealed his involvement in the San Sebastian killings throughout his immigration and naturalization proceedings. Vasquez was naturalized as a U.S. citizen Jan. 13, 2005.

Feb. 7, 2017

A Liberian national was arrested Jan. 10, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice following an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).

Isaac Kannah, 51, of Philadelphia, is charged in an October 2012, indictment with perjury and obstruction of justice. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Liberian national pleads guilty to federal charges

Liberian human rights violator removed from US

Jan. 6, 2017

A former member of the Guatemalan army, whom witnesses say participated in a massacre there more than three decades ago that claimed over 200 lives, was arrested today by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and charged in immigration court with having assisted or otherwise participated in extrajudicial killings during that massacre.

Jose Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales, 54, was arrested by special agents from HSI’s Baltimore office. As a former member of an elite Guatemalan army unit known as the Kaibiles, Ortiz Morales is wanted in his native country on criminal charges for murder, war crimes, and crimes against humanity for his role in the Dos Erres massacre.

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ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1980s massacre

Former Guatemalan special forces officer sentenced for covering up involvement in 1982 massacre

Dec. 20, 2016

A resident of Crown Point, Indiana, was arrested Monday near Kalamazoo, Michigan, by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) after being indicted on a felony charge of having fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship after he emigrated from Bosnia-Herzegovina to the United States.

The charges resulted from an investigation by HSI and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).

The indictment alleges that Alexander Kneginich, 56, told a series of lies to U.S. immigration authorities in the course of obtaining authority to enter the United States that enabled him to subsequently get permanent-resident status and ultimately attain U.S. citizenship.  The indictment further charges that Kneginich knowingly failed to disclose in his applications for status in the United States  that he had served in Bosnian Serb Army units during the Balkans conflict of the early 1990s; that he knowingly failed to disclose in those applications that he had been charged, jailed and tried in Bosnia for the 1994 murders of two Muslim civilians; and that he falsely stated that he had never lied to U.S. immigration authorities to obtain immigration benefits.

ICE HSI Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center wins prestigious award from the Anti-Defamation League

Oct. 13, 2016

group photo with award

Eight U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees and two U.S. Department of Justice employees were awarded the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) SHIELD Award Sept. 27, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  The Service, Honor, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership and Dedication (SHIELD) Award is an annual initiative of the ADL’s D.C. regional office to recognize law enforcement personnel for significant contributions toward protecting the American people from hate crimes, extremism, and domestic and international terrorism.

The award recognized a multiyear investigation of Rwandan national Gervais (Ken) Ngombwa, who allegedly participated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and which culminated in his conviction for naturalization fraud. As a result of the conviction, Ngombwa will lose his U.S. citizenship and face potential removal to Rwanda where he faces prosecution for his role in the genocide.

Through its Human Rights Violators and War Crimes investigative program, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigates, prosecutes, and removes individuals who committed acts of torture, genocide, extra judicial killings, or severe forms of religious persecution.  When pursuing foreign war criminals or human rights abuser suspects, ICE HSI employs its combined authorities under both U.S. criminal and immigration law to deny human rights violators a safe haven in the United States. 

Oct. 3, 2016

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A former Bosnian Serb military officer and his wife were deported Sept. 30, after being convicted separately for lying to gain immigration benefits in the United States. The pair withheld or lied about the husband’s extensive involvement in the 1992-1995 civil war in Bosnian-Herzegovina, including at Srebrenica in July 1995.  

The investigation leading to the pair’s deportation was conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Cleveland.  Both criminal cases were successfully prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

Ratko Maslenjak, 57, a former Cleveland-area resident and his wife, Divna Maslenjak, 53, arrived in Belgrade, Serbia, Oct. 1, via commercial aircraft. ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers witnessed the pair’s departure from JFK International Airport and confirmed their arrival with Serbian authorities.

Sep. 28, 2016
ICE removes Rwandan wanted for genocide

A Rwandan national accused of genocide was removed Wednesday from the United States by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Leopold Munyakazi, 67, entered the U.S. in 2004 on a business visa. In November 2006 the government of Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant charging Munyakazi with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and negation to genocide.

On Nov. 16, 2010, Munyakazi was ordered removed by a federal immigration judge in Baltimore, Maryland. Munyakazi subsequently appealed that decision and his appeal was denied in July.

Sep. 23, 2016

Officers arresting an individual with their face blurred out

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 36 fugitives during concurrent nationwide operations this week – Operation Safe Nation and Operation No Safe Haven III. Of those arrested, 17 were sought because they may pose a threat to public safety or national security, including individuals suspected of providing material support to a terrorist organization and 19 were sought for their known or suspected roles in human rights violations overseas.

During the operations that concluded Wednesday, the ICE National Fugitive Operations Program arrested the fugitives in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, the ICE Counterterrorism Section and ICE field offices in the following cities: Atlanta; Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and St. Paul, Minnesota. This concurrent nationwide operation was the first of its kind. It focused on the apprehension of fugitives known or suspected to pose a danger to public safety or national security and those known or suspected of human rights violations.

Sep. 21, 2016

An individual in a plaid shirt being handcuffed by an officer

Among the ideals upon which the United States of America was founded, and has thrived for nearly 250 years, is the understanding that no individual is above the law and all are equally protected by those who have sworn an oath to uphold it.

This fundamental belief also holds accountable human rights violators who have committed crimes against humanity around the world and have attempted to evade justice in their own countries by living secret lives here in the United States.

Aug. 10, 2016
Santos Lopez Alonzo, 64

A former member of the Guatemalan army, whom witnesses say participated in a massacre there more than three decades ago that claimed over 200 lives, was deported to his native country Wednesday, capping a longstanding effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to win the ex-commando’s removal from the United States.

Santos Lopez Alonzo, 64, arrived in Guatemala at around noon local time on board an ICE Air Operations charter removal flight and was immediately turned over to Guatemalan law enforcement officials. The former member of an elite Guatemalan army unit known as the Kaibiles is wanted in his native country on criminal charges for his role in the Dos Erres massacre. The charges are detailed in an arrest warrant issued by Guatemalan authorities in 2002.

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ICE removes Guatemalan citizen for alleged human rights violations in connection with 1982 Dos Erres massacre

ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1982 massacre

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ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1980s massacre

Feb. 5, 2016
Paper cut outs of human shapes

Feb. 6 marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI join U.S. and foreign government partners, non-governmental organizations and local communities to call for eradication of the practice.

This day serves as an opportunity to reflect on victims who have suffered from female genital mutilation/cutting, including many women and girls who have died or suffered lifelong health complications from the practice. The day also renews a global commitment to the health and well-being of all women, girls and communities by eliminating the practice.

Jun. 10, 2015
Chucky Taylor

How does a young man from Orlando, Florida, a short drive from Disney World, grow up to become “a brutal, drug crazed torturer,” is the question Johnny Dwyer, author of the recently published book American Warlord, attempts to answer. Dwyer chronicles the life of Chucky Taylor who traveled to Liberia and became “the most feared man in Liberia.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE’s) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led the investigation of Chucky Taylor, a natural born U.S. citizen and son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, a human rights violator and war criminal in his own right.

Sep. 23, 2014

NEW YORK — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested three fugitives sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations. These arrests were part of a first-of-its-kind nationwide operation last week targeting suspected human rights violators in multiple cities across the United States.

During the operation that concluded September 18, ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP), in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC), arrested 19 of these fugitives via the ICE field offices of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and San Francisco.

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ICE arrests 19 fugitives across US during “Operation No Safe Haven”

Sep. 23, 2014
ICE arrests 19 fugitives across the US during 'Operation No Safe Haven'--first of its kind action target fugitive aliens suspected of human rights violations

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 19 fugitives sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations during a first-of-its-kind nationwide operation last week targeting these individuals in multiple cities across the United States.

During the operation that concluded September 18, ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP), in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC), arrested these fugitives via the ICE field offices of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and San Francisco.

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ICE in New York arrests 3 fugitives "Operation No Safe Haven"

May 12, 2014

An indictment was unsealed in federal court Monday charging the former National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) minister of defense with lying on his application for U.S. citizenship by not disclosing his alleged affiliation with a violent political group in Liberia. The former minister was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and FBI special agents Monday at Newark Airport.

Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, aka Jucontee Thomas Smith, 68, of Collingdale, was charged with seven counts of perjury, two counts of fraudulently attempting to obtain citizenship, four counts of fraud in immigration documents and three counts of false statements in relation to naturalization. If convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 110 years in prison, a $4,000,000 fine, not more than three years supervised release and a $1,600 special assessment.

Feb. 10, 2014

A former Guatemalan special forces officer was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for covering up his involvement in a 1982 massacre at Dos Erres, Guatemala.

The Feb. 10 sentencing was announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director John Sandweg, Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California.

Jorge Sosa, 55, of Moreno Valley, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips in the Central District of California. At sentencing, the court also revoked Sosa's U.S. citizenship.

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ICE removes Guatemalan citizen for alleged human rights violations in connection with 1982 Dos Erres massacre

ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1982 massacre

ICE removes ex-member of Guatemalan special forces linked to 1980s massacre

ICE removes former member of Guatemalan army linked to 1980s massacre

HSI assists in arrest of leader of Korean human smuggling organization for arranging prostitution in California and New York

Aug. 13, 2013

The leader of a human smuggling organization and 21 brothel operators and prostitutes were indicted without detention in South Korea following an investigation by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency-International Crime Investigation Unit (SMPA-ICIU) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seoul.

SMPA-ICIU officers and HSI special agents identified Korean national Kyung Jong Jang, 58, as the leader of the South Korea human smuggling organization. Jang was arrested Monday for violating multiple Korean laws, including kidnapping and arranging for sex trafficking. If convicted, he faces five to seven years in prison. Twenty-one Korean citizens including operators of brothels in the United States and prostitutes were also arrested on criminal charges in South Korea.

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Feb. 21, 2013

A Manchester, N.H., woman was convicted today by a federal jury of two counts of procuring citizenship unlawfully. The guilty plea is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

A federal jury in New Hampshire found that Beatrice Munyenyezi, 43, obtained her U.S. citizenship unlawfully after fleeing her home country of Rwanda by misrepresenting material facts to U.S. immigration authorities both before and after she arrived in the United States. Munyenyezi, who was charged in June 2010, faces up to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Mar. 29, 2012

George Saigbe Boley, 62, formerly of Hilton, N.Y., arrived in Monrovia, Liberia, at approximately 7:30 p.m. GMT (3:30 p.m. EDT). Boley, the leader of the LPC during the Liberian civil war, was found by an immigration judge Feb. 6, 2012 to be removable from the United States. This was the first removal order obtained by ICE under the authorities of the Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2008, which added the recruitment and use of child soldiers as a ground of inadmissibility to and deportability from the United States. The immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review – a component of the U.S. Department of Justice – also found Boley inadmissible based upon the government's charge of commission of extrajudicial killings in Liberia in the 1990s and that Boley had abandoned his lawful permanent resident status.

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Jul. 14, 2011
Hurtado-Hurtado being escorted

A former Peruvian Army major was successfully extradited from Miami to Lima, Peru, for his role in the 1985 murders of 69 unarmed men, women and children in Accomarca, located in the southern province of Ayacucho, Peru. He arrived at the Jorge Chávez International Airport on July 14, where he was placed in custody by the Peruvian National Police.

Telmo Ricardo Hurtado-Hurtado, 50, was wanted by Peruvian authorities for homicide stemming from his role in the "Accomarca Massacre." The extradition is the result of extensive investigative work conducted jointly by: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Justice, Department of State and Peruvian law enforcement authorities.

Jul. 12, 2011
Pedro Pimentel Rios

A former member of the Guatemalan army whom witnesses say participated in a massacre there three decades ago that claimed at least 162 lives was deported to his native country Tuesday, capping an effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to investigate the case and win the ex-commando's removal from the United States.

Pedro Pimentel Rios, 54, arrived in Guatemala on board an ICE Air Operations charter removal flight and was immediately turned over to Guatemalan law enforcement officials. The Santa Ana, Calif., maintenance worker is wanted in his native country on criminal charges for his role in the Dos Erres massacre.

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