An accused Liberian war criminal who was living in Western New York has been deported following a six-year investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
62-year-old George Boley, the former leader of the Liberian Peace Council, was living in Hilton, New York, north of Rochester. During the Liberian Civil War of the 1990s, Boley is alleged to have committed human rights abuses against civilians, including the rapes and murders of dozens of Liberian villagers.
Boley had assembled a group of child soldiers to carry out his misdeeds, some who were as young as ten, according to a witness who helped build the government's case. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he is glad to have helped bring Boley to justice after the LPC killed his uncle in 1994.
"I'm very happy this government has done everything it can to hunt these bad guys and bring them to justice," he said.
Boley caught the attention of authorities when he applied for Medicaid benefits in Monroe County, where he had a job in a local school district. A Department of Social Services investigator identified Boley after conducting an Internet search and shared the information with Homeland Security investigators in Buffalo.
"The investigation itself began in 2006. It's an international investigation. We interviewed hundreds of witnesses and it took years for us to be able to gather our evidence so that we could present a case that we felt strongly enough that we would be able to win," said local special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations James Spero.
"These cases send a message to the world that the U.S. will not be a safe haven to human rights abusers, and that human rights abusers will not be able to evade justice and accountability for their crimes by hiding among their victims."
This is the first-ever removal order obtained by ICE based on the 2008 Child Soldiers Accountability Act. Boley's fate is now in the hands of Liberian authorities.