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Published September 08, 2011, 09:08 AM

North Dakota contractor deported for racketeering

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota contractor who pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge two years ago has been deported to the Czech Republic. Peter Spacek was sent out of the country in mid-August, his wife, Jill, told The Forum newspaper

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota contractor who pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge two years ago has been deported to the Czech Republic.

Peter Spacek was sent out of the country in mid-August, his wife, Jill, told The Forum newspaper (http://bit.ly/qUBkA6 ). The attorney handling his immigration case, Raymond Gwenigale, said briefs have been filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals but a hearing date has not been set.

Spacek was born in 1967 in what was then known as Czechoslovakia, and came to the United States in 1984, according to court documents. He was arrested in July 2008 in Richland County after authorities found construction machinery and other stolen property on two farmsteads west of Colfax. Prosecutors later accused him of maintaining control of his West Fargo business, Straight Edge Construction, through "a pattern of racketeering activity or its proceeds" that included property thefts valued at $500,000.

Spacek pleaded guilty in December 2009 to illegal control of an enterprise and was sentenced to serve about a year in jail and 10 years on supervised probation. However, the Department of Homeland Security began deportation proceedings in July 2010.

Spacek sought to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming his attorney, Jesse Lange, did not accurately inform him of the consequences. Cass County Assistant State's Attorney Cherie Clark opposed the motion, arguing that Lange did not assure Spacek that he would be safe from potential deportation. Lange declined to comment Wednesday.

A court hearing on Spacek's motion was canceled Wednesday.

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