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WASHINGTON D.C. The Department of Justice today asked a federal immigration court in Tampa to deport a Gulfport, Florida, man for assisting in the persecution of Jews in Nazi-occupied Vilnius, Lithuania, during World War II.

A charging document filed today in United States Immigration Court in Tampa by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) of the Justice Department's Criminal Division alleges that in October 1941, Algimantas Dailide, 80, a retired Cleveland-area real estate agent, whose citizenship was previously revoked by a federal court in Ohio, participated as a member of the Nazi-sponsored Lithuanian Security Police (Saugumas) in the arrest and search of Jewish men, women and children who were attempting to escape from forced confinement in the Vilnius ghetto. Authenticated documents found by OSI in archives in Lithuania show that the Jews arrested by Dailide were turned over to Nazi authorities to be shot and killed at execution pits at Paneriai, a wooded area outside Vilnius, where some 50,000 Jews were murdered during the war.

"The Nazi occupation forces, with help from their local collaborators like Dailide, slaughtered most of the Jewish population of Lithuania in a few short months in the fall of 1941," said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum. "By arresting Jews whose only offense was escaping from certain death, and turning them over for disposition by his Nazi superiors, Dailide played a key role in the mistreatment and murder of innocent Jewish civilians. He is not entitled to the privilege of continued U.S. residence."

The Vilnius Saugumas was controlled by the German Security Police and Security Service and had responsibilities similar to those of the German Gestapo. The Saugumas assisted the Nazi persecution of Jews by, arresting, detaining, and turning over for execution or other punishment, Jews attempting to escape from the wretched barbed-wire enclosed Vilnius ghetto, as well as any person who tried to help Jews. Dailide joined the Saugumas in 1941, and served until 1944, when the Nazis abandoned Vilnius.

Dailide entered the United States in 1950, after falsely telling U.S. immigration officials in Germany that he had been a "forester" during the war. In 1997, the U.S. District Court in Cleveland revoked Dailide's U.S. citizenship after confirming his role in the arrests of Jews in wartime Vilnius. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed that ruling in September 2000.

OSI previously obtained the denaturalization of three of Dailide's Saugumas colleagues. In 1996, a federal court in Boston denaturalized Vilnius Saugumas Chief Aleksandras Lileikis, who fled to Lithuania, where he was indicted for war crimes. Lileikis died last year while the charges were pending. In 1994, Kazys Gimzauskas, Lileikis' deputy and a former resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, returned to Lithuania while under investigation by OSI. A federal court revoked Gimzauskas' citizenship in 1996. In February 2001, Gimzauskas was convicted by a Lithuanian court of participating in genocide. In 1998, a federal court in Tampa denaturalized Adolph Milius, who participated with Dailide in the arrests of Jewish civilians. Milius also fled to Lithuania, where he died in 1999.

Rosenbaum said the initiation of proceedings to deport Dailide is a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution residing in this country. To date, 64 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 54 have been removed from the United States since OSI began operations in 1979. Nearly 250 persons are currently under investigation by OSI, according to Rosenbaum.