SAN ANTONIO – 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.
According to the plea agreement, Trisic admitted that he served in the Army of the Serb Republic as a member of the Bratunac Brigade during various tours of duty between April 1992 and January 1996, when Bosnia and Herzegovina was in the midst of a civil war. The Bratunac Brigade, operating primarily in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, was one of the military units responsible for, among other violations, the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre that resulted in the deaths of between 7,000 and 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. Trisic admitted that he engaged in various unlawful activities while serving with the Bratunac Brigade, such as the beating, detention and transportation of Muslim prisoners.
In order to obtain status in the United States, Trisic admitted that he knowingly lied when he claimed to reside in Serbia during the war, when in fact he actually resided in Bratunac, Bosnia.
ICE’s HRVWCC was established in 2009 to further ICE’s efforts to identify, track and prosecute human rights abusers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.
Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 415 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed more than 1000 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 156 such individuals from the United States.
Currently, HSI has more than 170 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,600 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 75,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 300 human rights violators and war crimes 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 call the ICE tip line at - 1-866-DHS-2423 (1-866-347-2423). Callers may remain anonymous. To learn more about the assistance available to victims in these cases, the public should contact ICE’s confidential victim-witness toll-free number at 1-866-872-4973.You can learn more about ICE’s mission to enforce federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety at www.ICE.gov.
Trial Attorneys Frank G. Rangoussis and Ann Marie E. Ursini of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Smith of the Western District of North Carolina prosecuted the case.