ST LOUIS — A Slovenian national, who is wanted in his native country for blackmail, was deported Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
After being flown to New York City from St. Louis, Okica Pajazetovic, 35, was escorted to Ljubljana, Slovenia, on a commercial flight. Upon his arrival in Slovenia, ERO officers transferred him to Slovenian authorities.
According to Slovenian court records, Pajazetovic's criminal charges stem from two separate incidents in December 2001 and March 2003.
In 2001 he allegedly demanded 1,000 Deutsche Marks, Germany's former currency, from another man. When his victim refused to pay, Pajazetovic is alleged to have made threatening phone calls to the victim's wife and daughter. In 2003 Pajazetovic allegedly illegally purchased a pistol and ammunition; the next day he accosted another victim, a relative of his first victim, by holding the weapon to his head at the James Dean Pub in Ljubljana.
On March 26, 2009, Judge Mateja Luzovec from the District court in Ljubljana in Slovenia issued an arrest warrant for Pajazetovic on blackmail charges.
On Nov. 25, 2010, Interpol published a warrant on Pajazetovic for blackmail.
Based on information in the Interpol notice, U.S. law enforcement authorities were guided to a relative of Pajazetovic's living in the St. Louis area. Pajazetovic was apprehended July 31 without incident at his St. Louis residence by members of ERO's local Fugitive Operations Team.
"This removal allows Slovenian authorities to continue to seek justice for crimes committed in their country," said Ricardo Wong, field officer director for ERO St. Louis. "We are resolute in our commitment to identify, arrest and remove aliens who falsely believe they can escape legal issues in their home country by hiding in ours."
Records show that Pajazetovic entered the United States in 2003 in Chicago as a visitor, and failed to leave when his visa expired. He was issued an Order of Deportation the day he was arrested on immigration violations. He has remained in ERO custody since his July 31 arrest.
ERO's Fugitive Operations Teams are specially trained to apprehend foreign fugitive aliens. Interpol, the world's largest international police organization with 188-member countries, facilitates international police cooperation.