March 02nd 2013 07:08:28 PM
FBI Nabbed “America’s Most Wanted” Fugitive Last Year in “Operation Black Eagle”. As in the Albanian Black EaglePosted by Julia Gorin
I didn’t manage to get to this last year, but apparently an Albanian who had made it onto the “America’s Most Wanted” list was captured in May. When she circulated the item, Liz singled out one reader comment in particular:
It’s hoped that at least a few readers haven’t forgotten that the ‘likes of these’ (Most Wanted) continue to be considered allies of USA-NATO in the Balkans. Lest we forget the 1999 78-day war of USA-led NATO against Serbia, when assorted weapons of mass destruction were dropped on Serbia (including bombs laden with depleted uranium), on behalf of ‘this bunch’. Talk about ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ ! Their crime boss (Hashim Thaci) was given the honor of being President [prime minister] of Kosovo, with the blessings of USA. BTW, ‘no background checks’ were deemed necessary in 1999, when USA chose its ‘allies’ in the region…Perhaps this ‘Most Wanted’ fiasco is (in part) blowback for the stupidities of a once proud nation.
The subject line of the email with this article was also trenchant: “Albanians treat best friend USA like another Serbia - ‘America’s Most Wanted’ nabbed in Toronto”
As in: Gee, maybe the issue in Kosovo/Serbia had nothing to do with what the Serbs, as such, did or didn’t do, but about Albanian terrorism. A lesson we’re being doled out repeatedly and no one notices. But don’t look for the word “Albanian” or “Kosovo” in the MSM headlines. For example, look at the chosen cop-out in the caption (and URL) by the Toronto Sun “journalists,” who apparently realized they didn’t have to use a word like “Yugoslav,” which the MSM got busted on back in 2007. Now, they’ve discovered the fix-all word “Balkan.”
Kujtim “Timmy” Lika, a fugitive from the Balkans and wanted by the FBI in the U.S. was arrested in Toronto Thursday. He had been featured on the TV show America’s Most Wanted.
‘America’s Most Wanted’ nabbed in Toronto (Toronto Sun, May 25, 2012)
A senior member of a global Balkan crime ring who’s been sought by the FBI for three years has been arrested in Toronto.
His detention follows a police chase through five countries, officers say.
Kujtim “Timmy” Lika, 44, originally of Albania, whose crime spree was aired twice on America’s Most Wanted TV show, was arrested on Thursday outside an apartment in the Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton Aves. area, where he had been hiding, said Det. Rick Mooney, of Toronto Police fugitive squad.
Mooney said the capture stemmed from a massive four-year FBI probe called Operation Black Eagle. That operation required investigations in Toronto, New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Philadelphia, the Netherlands, Albania and ethnic Albanian regions of Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo.
He faces extradition to the U.S. to stand trial. He, and alleged gang kingpin Myfit Dika, 44, of New Jersey, managed to escape a 2009 roundup of Balkan crime gangs in New Jersey and New York in which 26 alleged members were charged with crimes including narcotics, firearms trafficking, money laundering and interstate transportation of stolen property.
Dika, 44, of New Jersey, was captured by the fugitive squad in Jan. 2010 while hiding in Toronto. He is still fighting extradition to the U.S.
The FBI said Lika is the last member of the gang to be captured by police.
Police seized a Bentley and two airplanes when they smashed the ring, whose members at one time allegedly planned to smuggle 100 kilos of cocaine into the U.S.
Looking at an old blog of mine, I’ve discovered that Kujtim Lika is a cousin of the Lika who had put out a $400,000 hit on Giuliani and another prosecutor (back in the 80s, I believe), according to a 2011 series by Kevin Heldman for CapitalNY.com.
At least CBC didn’t shy away from naming the nationality of the fugitive:
‘Kingpin’ in Albanian mafia arrested in Toronto (CBC, May 24, 2012)
A man wanted by the FBI and described by police as a “kingpin in the Albanian mafia” was arrested Thursday in Toronto.
Toronto police say the fugitive squad arrested Kujtim (Timmy) Lika on Thursday morning through a joint investigation between city police and the Canada Border Services Agency.
Toronto police Det. Rick Mooney told CBC News his team got a tip on Wednesday that led them to Lika’s modest apartment.
The America’s Most Wanted website says the FBI identified Lika as an Albanian illegal immigrant from the former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia.
Toronto police helped the FBI nab Lika’s accomplice Myfit (Mike) Dika, who was arrested in Toronto in 2010. They have been looking for Lika ever since.
Mooney told CBC News an investigation into Albanian organized crime began in the U.S. in 2005.
Named “Operation Black Eagle” after the two-headed eagle on the Albanian flag, the operation focused largely on Lika and Dika.
Investigators allege the pair shipped everything from heroin and guns to bootleg sneakers around the world.
They managed to evade a 2009 mass arrest of fellow gang members in New Jersey and fled to Canada.
Dika is being held in Toronto where he has been fighting extradition for two years.
And a few more details from CTV:
Man featured on America’s Most Wanted arrested in Toronto (May. 24, 2012)
…Lika has been described as a suspected Albanian mob boss who illegally immigrated to the United States.
Police believe that Lika entered Canada in August 2009.
Lika is a former gymnast who gained a reputation as the first major Albanian-American heroin dealer to operate in the U.S. since his illegal immigration, according to authorities. […]
It seems that Florida private investigator Bill Warner has been on the case all along, as this September 2009 posting shows:
Albanian Muslim Mafia Crew of Myfit Dika, Gazmir Gjoka, and Kujtim Lika are all wanted by the FBI in the USA and Dutch and Albanian Law Enforcement authorities for their participation in an international Afghan Heroin drug smuggling ring (support of terrorism) and criminal enterprise organization (RICO charges). The investigation into these individuals began in late 2003 and culminated with their indictments on March 12, 2009, in the District of New Jersey…[The three] have ties to…Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Newark, NJ — The FBI, in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) have charged 26 individuals with a laundry list of crimes including narcotics and firearms trafficking, money laundering, interstate transportation of stolen property, and criminal conspiracy. Four of the subjects are presently fugitives…
The coordinated arrests of 17 of the 26 defendants occurred over a period of five days in various cities throughout the New Jersey-New York area…The arrests resulted in the seizure of large quantities of ecstasy, oxycodone and heroin (of the Afghan variety), and crystal methamphetamine as well as in excess of $500,000 in cash and property, to include two airplanes used for the smuggling of illegal drugs and contraband, and two vehicles including a Bentley.
Codenamed “Black Eagle,” this four-year joint investigation targeted several loosely connected Balkan criminal enterprises operating throughout New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Canada, and the Netherlands…The FBI was able to infiltrate the criminal enterprise and purchase over 30,000 ecstasy pills, 2 1/2 kilograms of heroin, a 9 mm handgun, two assault style weapons, and stolen jewelry. Also negotiated were money laundering transactions and the importation of large amounts of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, oxycodone, anabolic steroids, over a million pills of ecstasy, and counterfeit sneakers — all from Canada, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, and Serbia.
Warner went on to list the 17 who were arrested, but I’ll just list the names that sounded interesting in a Balkan way:
HARJRUDIN PEJCINOVIC, AGE 39, OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
ADIS RADONCIC, AGE 30, OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
ERVIS GJONI, AGE 23, OF STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
GALITIANO GJONI, OF STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
MINIR RIZVANI, AGE 31, OF WAYNE, NEW JERSEY
MILE PETKOVSKI, AGE 49, OF LODI, NEW JERSEY
PERPARIM BILLA, AGE 38, OF RIDGEWOOD, NEW YORK
MIRSAD KOLASINAC, AGE 36, OF HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY
Four defendants who were already in custody on unrelated charges at the time of these have been charged in this matter, but not yet arrested:
ALBAN TASE, AGE 34, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
GEJSI SIKO, AGE 29, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
GENTIAN NACI, AGE 33, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
CHRISTOPHER CURANOVIC, AGE 28, OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Five are charged, but not yet in custody:
RODEN KOTE, AGE 32, OF PHILADELPHIA, CURRENTLY IN ALBANIA AND ABOUT TO SURRENDER
RASIM CORHAMZIC, AGE 42, OF CANADA
Three are fugitives:
MYFIT DIKA, AGE 44, OF WYCOFF, NEW JERSEY
KUJTIM LIKA, AGE 44, OF LITTLE FALLS, NEW JERSEY
GAZMIR GJOKA, AGE 55, OF YARDVILLE, NEW JERSEY—BELIEVED TO BE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES