AP: Fugitive in ’09 trafficking bust returned to N.J.

    A former New Jersey resident who had been a fugitive since being charged in 2009 as part of a purported international crime ring has been returned to New Jersey.

    New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney says Kujtim Lika made a first court appearance in Newark on Friday.

    Lika was arrested in Toronto in May.

    The 47-year-old former Passaic County resident, known as Timmy, was arrested under the alias Dashamir Cela.

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    He was among 26 people charged in 2009 with operating a loosely connected Balkan criminal enterprise in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Canada, and the Netherlands.

    Prosecutors say the defendants engaged in narcotics and firearms trafficking, money laundering, property theft and criminal conspiracy.

    Lika is being detained without bail. A message left for his attorney was not immediately returned.

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