Alleged genocide leader deported from Chicago

February 1, 2011

By Odette Yousef

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U.S. Immigration officials have deported a Romeoville man who is wanted in Rwanda for crimes against humanity. Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka was flown back to Kigali last week, after serving a 51-month term in federal prison for immigration fraud and assaulting a federal immigration officer when he was arrested in 2004.

Mudahinyuka came to the U.S. in 2000 under the alias “Thierry Rugamba,” claiming to be a victim of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Gail Montenegro, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago, said federal officials were tipped off by other resettled Rwandans in the community after he began working at an African grocery store in Bolingbrook, Ill.  “A witness recognized him as someone who was known by a different name in Rwanda,” said Montenegro.
 
Mudahinyuka is wanted in Rwanda for allegedly leading a Hutu militia, which is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of people. U.S. prosecutors were tasked with proving that Mudahinyuka’s true identity was not what he claimed it to be – a challenging task, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Juliet Sorensen. “We were looking for witnesses and identification documents from a country that had been decimated by the genocide,” said Sorensen. Ultimately, Mudahinyuka pleaded guilty to the U.S charges.