YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Kujtim “Timmy” Lika gave authorities the slip when they arrested one of his associates, Myfit Dika of Wyckoff, but the government announced on Thursday that it has caught the former Little Falls gangster — identified as one of the ringleaders of an international narcotics crew that also trafficked in steroids, untaxed cigarettes and counterfeit sneakers — in the same place: Canada.
Lika, 47, was using the alias Dashamir Cela when he was snatched up by authorities in Toronto, the same place where Dika was arrested two years ago.
Authorities originally said the ring operated in North Jersey, Brooklyn and Staten Island, with connections to Canada, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia.
Among those being sought are Myfit Dika of Wyckoff and Kujtim Lika of Little Falls, both 44, who are believed to be major figures in the ring. More than $500,000 in cash was seized at the time, along with two planes — one at Lincoln Park Airport — that federal agents said were used to smuggle drugs and other contraband.
Undercover agents bought more than 30,000 Ecstasy pills, 2.5 kilograms of heroin and weapons from the suspects, FBI authorities said in 2009, when most of the alleged members were rounded up. They said the ring also imported cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, anabolic steroids, along with the knockoff sneakers.
Several deals went down in Atlantic City — in one instance, involving 10 kilos of cocaine that was to be shipped from Florida to Ocean City. The crew members were instead given packages of a white powder substitute, for which they received $15,000, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Newark.
Following the initial raid, 22 of the defendants were arrested or already in custody. Authorities in Albania arrested one of the four remaining fugitives in November 2009, then another — Rodan Kote — surrendered to the FBI at Newark Airport a month later after returning from Albania.
Lika, whose story was featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” was the only one left once Dika was caught.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Malagold of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
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