Barberton man arrested for alleged involvement with war crimes

Published: Aug. 25, 2016 at 4:27 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2016 at 5:05 PM EDT
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BARBERTON, OH (WOIO) - A Barberton man was indicted for immigration fraud after authorities found evidence of his alleged involvement in the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. The massacre in Bosnia and Herzegovina left over 7,000 dead and more than 20,000 people expelled from their homes.

The indictment against Oliver Dragic, 41, who applied for refugee status in the United States in May of 1998, says that he did not reveal his service with the paramilitary police for the Republika Srpska, an unrecognized rogue state that perpetuated the killings in an attempt to "create an ethnically pure Serbian nation within the ethnically-mixed territory of the Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia-Herzogivna." It alleges that Dragic completed police training in 1994 before voluntarily joining the unit.

The indictment goes on to say that Dragic and his unit kept people from escaping the genocide through the surrounding wilderness. It also says that Dragic, who claimed he was a war victim when applying for refugee status, continued to serve with the unit until November of 1998, months after his application was submitted.

"The United States stands as a beacon for those fleeing oppression and atrocities, not those who committed them," said Carole Rendon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "This defendant lied about his involvement in a horrific war crime and will be held accountable for those lies."

Dragic was charged with possession of a fraudulently obtained green card, attempt to procure naturalization contrary to law and attempt to procure naturalization to which he was not entitled.

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