Federal prosecutors sought in court today to detain three suburban family members accused of operating a sophisticated, nationwide shoplifting ring, calling them risks to flee if released from custody.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason scheduled a detention hearing for Monday for Branko Bogdanov and his daughter, Julia. Bogdanov’s wife, Lela, is expected to be held over until the detention hearing as well, but her initial appearance was delayed until 3 p.m. today so a Romani interpreter could be present.
Prosecutors said the family is originally from the former Yugoslavia. It’s unclear whether any of them are U.S. citizens, according to prosecutors.
Before the brief hearing began, a man in the courtroom gallery waved at Lela Bogdanov and said, “Hi mom.” She smiled back at him.
Outside the courtroom, the man declined to comment to reporters. “Don’t speak English,” he said before adding, “God bless the universe. That’s all I have to say.”
CLICK FOR MORE