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April 1, 2016Chicago, IL, United StatesHuman Rights Violators

ICE deports former Bosnian-Serb police sergeant for lying about military service

CHICAGO — A former Bosnian-Serb para-military police officer was deported this week for fraudulently entering the U.S. and lying to U.S. immigration officials about his military service during the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995.

The investigation leading to this deportation was conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Janko Branko Jankovic, 50, a former resident of Milwaukee, arrived in Sarajevo Wednesday night via commercial aircraft under escort by officers with ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO); he was turned over to local authorities.

A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jankovic fraudulently entered the United States in 2003 and became a U.S. permanent resident in 2005. In 2009, ICE's Human Rights Violator and War Crimes Center identified Jankovic as a human rights violator suspect.

On June 20, 2014, after extensive litigation led by the ICE Office of the Chief Counsel for Chicago, a federal immigration judge ordered Jankovic deported to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied his appeals of the removal order. Jankovic was arrested at his residence Jan. 19, 2016, and he remained in ICE custody until his deportation this week. On Feb. 3, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied his request for a stay of deportation.

An investigation by HSI Milwaukee determined that Jankovic failed to disclose to U.S. immigration officials his extensive service in a para-military police formation under the command of the armed forces of the Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War.

“Janko Jankovic tried to cheat our nation's immigration system by lying about his military role during the Bosnian War,” said James M. Gibbons, acting special agent in charge of HSI Chicago, which includes Wisconsin. “HSI has an active program for investigating human rights violator suspects who try to hide from their past by fraudulently entering the United States.”

Jankovic's removal is the culmination of a long-term effort by the following domestic and overseas ICE programs: HSI, ERO, the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, the Office of International Affairs, and the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center in Washington, D.C.

ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center

ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. These individuals may use fraudulent identities to enter the country and attempt to blend into U.S. communities.

Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 360 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 780 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States.

Currently, ICE has more than 125 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries. Over the last four years, ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center has issued more than 70,100 lookouts for individuals from 111 countries and stopped 193 human rights violators or war crime suspects from entering the United States.

Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email or complete ICE's online tip form.