BOSTON — An Albanian national residing in Dedham, Mass., who was wanted in his home country on murder charges, was turned over to Albanian law enforcement authorities this morning at the Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza in Tirana, Albania. He was removed from the United States by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Sokrat Stambolliu, 45, aka Albert Kapllanaj, was arrested by ERO officers March 10, 2011, as he attempted to register as a convicted sex offender at the Dedham Police Department. He had remained in ERO custody until his removal today.
ERO was contacted by the U.S. Marshals Service in early March 2011, requesting assistance in locating Stambolliu, who was the subject of an Interpol Red Notice for "willful homicide" in Albania. An Interpol Red Notice is used to alert law enforcement agencies in member countries that arrest warrants have been issued and extradition will be sought for the fugitives. Being the subject of this type of notice is not a presumption of guilt. Interpol is the world's largest international police organization with 190 member countries. It serves as a facilitator of international police cooperation.
At the time of his arrest, Stambolliu admitted to being in the United States unlawfully. He was arrested on administrative immigration violations, and placed in removal proceedings. An immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) ordered him removed from the United States June 14, 2011. However, the case was appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA dismissed the appeal, and he was served a final order of deportation May 31, 2012.
Stambolliu was previously arrested in 2002 in Boston for the alleged rape of a child. In 2003, he was indicted in Suffolk (Mass.) Superior Court, and convicted in 2005 of attempted rape of child.
"Thanks to our excellent partnership with the U.S. Marshals Service, we have ensured that this individual will be prosecuted for his alleged crimes in Albania," said Dorothy Herrera-Niles, field office director for ERO Boston. Herrera-Niles oversees ERO throughout New England. "His arrest and removal should serve as a reminder to foreign fugitives who mistakenly believe they can elude justice by fleeing to this country. ICE will continue to work closely with its foreign law enforcement counterparts not only to ensure that criminals are held accountable for their actions, but to safeguard the rights of law-abiding citizens here and overseas."
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 455 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE's Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.