A native Albanian who found asylum after entering the United States illegally more than two decades ago was charged with transporting 68 pounds of pot through Bergen County.
Flamor Djokovic, a 37-year-old restaurant owner from Michigan, was stopped and arrested in Lodi on Tuesday, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
Djokovic was 14 when his family smuggled him out of the former Yugoslavia in 1999 amid what their lawyer at the time said was persecution for their political and social activities -- specifically for helping Albanians in Montenegro and providing safe passage to Albania for refugees from Kosovo.
Djokovic spent a few months in Albania before organizers of a youth soccer team agreed to pass him off as a player during a trip to Canada, according to court papers.
In Canada, he met a separate set of smugglers who got him into the United States, the papers show.
A long legal battle with U.S. immigration officials followed before Djokovic settled in Washington Township, MI.
Djokovic remained held Wednesday in the Bergen County Jail awaiting a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack. He’s charged with carrying more than 25 pounds of marijuana for sale.
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