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Press Release

Former Member of Croatian Defense Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina Sentenced for Fraudulently Obtaining Green Card and Consents to Removal from United States

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Forrest Lake, Minnesota, man was sentenced today for failing to disclose, during his immigration to the United States, multiple crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina before and during the Bosnian Conflict in the 1990s, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger of the District of Minnesota.

Zdenko Jakiša, 47, stipulated to an order of judicial removal from the United States, in which he agreed that he is not lawfully admissible in the United States and on Feb. 16, 2016, will self-surrender to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for removal.  Jakiša was sentenced to time served by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the District of Minnesota.

According to the plea agreement, Jakiša is a Bosnian citizen and between July 1990 and October 1997, he was convicted of various crimes and charged with others in Bosnia, including a conviction for shooting and killing his neighbor through her bedroom window in September 1993.  While some of these charges remained pending in Bosnia, Jakiša fled to the United States where, he now admits, he lied about his criminal history on his legal permanent resident applications and was granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States. 

The ICE Homeland Security Investigations St. Paul, Minnesota, Office investigated the case with support from the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office.  ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center provided the lead in this investigation.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and their counterparts at the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina provided valuable assistance.

Trial Attorney Ann Marie Ursini of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan P. Petterson of the District of Minnesota prosecuted the case.

Updated August 10, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-171