By Phyllis Swebilius
MILFORD Dardian Celaj, under supervised release in a federal case tied to organized crime, faces a judge Tuesday in a sexual assault case from two years ago in Derby.
Celaj, a native of Albania, has waived his right to trial by jury and has chosen a court trial before Superior Court Judge Denise D. Markle.
He was arrested March 3, 2012, by Derby police and is free on $250,000 surety bond.
Celaj was charged with first-degree sexual assault, a felony, and third-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor.
Details on the allegations of the March 2, 2012, incident are unavailable, as the records are sealed.
He is represented by Don Cretella of Zingaro & Cretella, Bridgeport, who could not be reached for comment.
Celaj was named in a December 2007 federal indictment as being involved in several crimes with members or associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family.
Celaj, in July 2011, was ordered by a federal judge in the Southern District of New York into three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to six federal charges. He was also ordered not to commit another federal, state or local crime.
He was given credit for time served and ordered not to have any dangerous weapons. His time served could not be determined.
Celaj had pleaded guilty to six counts:
• Conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.
• Two Hobbs Act robberies, Sept. 28, 2003, and Oct. 19, 2003.
• Use and carrying a firearm, 2004.
• Conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion, 2007.
• Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, 2002.
The Hobbs Act prohibits extortion by the wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence or fear.
Celaj’s status as an Albanian native could not be determined. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesmen could not be reached for comment.
New Haven immigration lawyer Gregory J. Gallo, while not commenting on this case specifically, explained the U.S. policy toward noncitizens who are convicted of crimes.
“In general, the U.S. takes the position that if you are a noncitizen convicted of an ‘aggravated felony,’ which can include a number nonviolent misdemeanors, you can be subject to deportation without having a hearing because a number of nonviolent misdemeanors can be considered an aggravated felony,” said Gallo, of the Pellegrino Law Firm.
“So the immigrant does not get a removal hearing, is ineligible for asylum, can’t apply to cancel the order and generally, you are permanently ineligible to return,” Gallo said.