By Gordon Wilczynski
Four Hamtramck men who were under surveillance by police for the last two weeks are being held in the Macomb County Jail on $100,000 bond after being charged in the break-in of the Joy Road party store on Gratiot Avenue.
Anton Bucaj of Hamtramck was one of four charged in the party store break-in.
Through their attorney, James L. Galen Jr. of Warren/Lincoln Park, the men pleaded innocent late Monday afternoon at their arraignment before 41-B District Judge James Scandirito.
They are charged with breaking and entering and conspiracy of breaking and entering. Preliminary examination has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 24.
Arrested early Sunday morning were: Leonard Dushi, 22; Anton Bucaj, 25; Pjeter Bushati, 28; and Paqsor Gjoka, 22.
Detective Sgt. Ron Krueger of the Macomb County Sheriff Department said police from five jurisdictions want to talk to the men in connection with burglaries in their communities.
"The bond on my clients is ridiculous," said Galen. "Now the police are saying my clients are members of the Bucaj Gang who are involved in burglaries in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. What is this?"
John and Anton Bucaj were born in the Bronx, New York, and have lived with their father on Trowbridge Street in Hamtramck for the past 13 years. Galen said Gjoka, Bushati and Dushi were born in Albania and are not U.S. citizens.
The suspects were arrested at 2:30 a.m. Sunday by officers from the County of Macomb Enforcement Team (COMET) surveillance
crew. COMET, according to Krueger, had information that the suspects planned to break into a store in the Mount Clemens area and were following them.
"Their MO (method of operation) is to get on the roof and detach the burglar alarm," said Krueger. "But in this case, we were waiting for them."
- Setective Sgt. Ron Krueger
Krueger said police will talk to immigration authorities this week in an attempt to get the three immigrants deported.
Last year, John Bucaj was acquitted of burglary after a five day trial in Isabella County. He had been charged with breaking into a party store in Mount Pleasant. In the same robbery, Krueger said, Dushi was convicted of burglary and spent one year in jail. And earlier this year Anton Bucaj was found innocent of first-degree murder in Detroit.
Four residents nabbed for suburban break-in
By Charles Sercombe
Four Hamtramck men charged in a Mt. Clemens party store break-in are wanted .for questioning in a number of other break-ins throughout the metro area, police investigators say.
The men, Leonard Dushi, 22, Anton Bucaj, 25, Pjeter Bushati, 28 and Paqsor Gjoka, 22, were charged last Monday in Macomb County with breaking and entering and conspiracy of breaking and entering.
They are being held in custody on $100,000 bond — an amount their attorney is protesting. All but Bucaj live here on immigrant status. Bujaj was born in New York.
"I guess I can understand why the bond is so high on three of them, but for Anton Bucaj to be held on that is ludicrous. He was born in the USA," said their attorney James Galen.
Immigration officials are being asked to look into deportation of all of the suspects except Bucaj. The other three emigrated from Albania.
Bucaj, who lives on Trowbridge St., was last in custody on a first degree murder charge in the killing of two brothers three years ago on Faber St.
A Detroit Recorder's Court judge found him innocent of the charge last year.
Dushi was recently jailed for one year for a break-in he committed in Mt. Pleasant.
In the alleged Mt. Clemens break-in, police say the four used a method of entry being reported in area communities: first the telephone lines are cut, which disconnects the alarm, and then a hole is cut in the roof with a power saw.
A special investigation team of Macomb County officers kept the suspects under surveillance for two weeks prior to their arrest last Sunday morning. Hamtramck detective Dennis Frederick also supplied some information on the suspects to Macomb police, but he was not part of the formal investigation.
"We've been coordinating our efforts, keeping in touch," Frederick said.
The suspects' attorney said he expects another felony charge of possession of burglary tools to be added to the two other charges.
If convicted of breaking and entering, the suspects could be imprisoned for 15 years. A preliminary examination is scheduled for this Friday, June 24, at 41-B District Court.