U.S. immigration arrests 20, including Latvian woman

The wife of a convicted sex trafficker from Latvia has been arrested by U.S. immigration officials as part of a week-long operation that netted 20 fugitive aliens in the Chicago area.

Rudīte Pede, 30, wife of Alexander Mischulovich, was arrested March 6 at her Elmwood Park, Ill., home, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced March 14.

She had been convicted last year of visa fraud and conspiracy for her role in a human trafficking ring that brought women from Latvia to dance in Chicago strip clubs. Pede was ordered deported in March 2005, but became a fugitive when she failed to surrender to ICE in July.

Pede’s husband, Alexander Mischulovich, is serving a nine-year sentence in federal prison for involuntary servitude for operating the ring.

Also arrested, ICE announced, were fugitives from Bulgaria, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. All were hiding to avoid deportation, the agency said.

Rudīte Pede

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released this mug shot of Rudīte Pede after her arrest.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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