Jeton Sutaj v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 17-1999 _____________ JETON SUTAJ, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent _______________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the United States Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA No. A206-789-785) Immigration Judge: Honorable Mirlande Tadal _______________ Argued January 8, 2018 Before: JORDAN, ROTH, Circuit Judges and STEARNS*, District Judge. (Filed: January 31, 2018) Marcela Gyires [ARGUED] Pozo Goldstein 2000 South Dixie Highway, Suite 101 Miami, FL 33133 Counsel for Petitioner * Honorable Richard G. Stearns, United States District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts, sitting by designation. Chad A. Readler Acting Assistant Attorney General Stephen J. Flynn Assistant Director Office of Immigration Litigation James A. Hurley [ARGUED] United States Department of Justice Office of Immigration Litigation P.O. Box 878, Room 5009 Ben Franklin Station Washington, D.C. 20044 Counsel for Respondent _______________ OPINION _______________ STEARNS, District Judge. Petitioner Jeton Sutaj, an Albanian national, challenges a ruling of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) upholding an Immigration Judge’s determination that he is ineligible for relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT)1. We find no error and therefore deny the petition. I. Background  This disposition is not an opinion of the full court and, pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7, does not constitute binding precedent. 1 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, opened for signature Dec. 10, 1984, S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20 (1988), 1465 U.N.T.S. 85. 2 Sutaj attempted to enter the United States on March 4, 2015, at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York using a counterfeit Italian passport.2 He was intercepted by officers of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who eventually ascertained Sutaj’s true identity and nationality. He subsequently pled guilty to the false use of a passport in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546, for which he received a six-month prison sentence. After Sutaj’s release from custody, DHS initiated removal proceedings. Represented by counsel, Sutaj sought asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under CAT. Sutaj claims that he had worked “as [a] soldier of [the] Guard[] of [the] Republic of Albania,” which, among other duties, provides security for the country’s Prime Minister and President. (AR at 593). Sutaj maintains that he was recruited by a local police chief (Dritan Lamaj), as an undercover operative. In that capacity, he spent several years participating in an investigation of Arben and Mark Frroku, two Albanian brothers who are the alleged masterminds of a far-flung criminal enterprise involving prostitution and drug trafficking. According to Sutaj, the brothers were at the time wanted for murder in Belgium. Over the course of the investigation – in which he secretly recorded personal and telephone conversations – Sutaj claims that on several occasions he was present when the Frroku brothers met with high-ranking Albanian government officials. Although the details are sketchy, Sutaj claims that the meetings 2 Sutaj was attempting to take advantage of the expedited admissions procedure offered ...

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