ARAPAHOE COUNTY - The 9Wants to Know investigators have learned U.S. Federal agents arrested a man who they believe is a war criminal from Ethiopia convicted of killing 101 people and torturing many others.
Kefelegn Alemu Worku went by the name Tufa or Habteab Berhe Temanu, according to federal agents and federal court documents reviewed by 9Wants to Know. Immigration Customs Enforcement arrested Worku was arrested Aug. 24, but news of his arrest wasn't immediately made public.
ICE agents allege Worku stole an identity and forged his citizenship application to be able to get into the United States. Federal prosecutors charged him with unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization and aggravated identity theft. If convicted he could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. It's not clear whether he could be deported back to Ethiopia.
Worku lived in a second-floor apartment at 8861 East Florida Avenue in Arapahoe County, near Florida Avenue and Parker Road.
Girma Baye manages Kozy Café near Havana Street and 1st Avenue, where Worku was a near-daily customer.
"He's about 60-65 years old," Baye said. "He's a very nice guy. He's always fun."
Baye said he was shocked to learn what prosecutors claim is in Worku's past.
ICE agents were tipped off about Worku in May of 2011 after an Ethiopian native who lived in Denver, recognized Worku as a guard in the prison where he was an inmate. The man also told federal agents that he personally watched Worku torture fellow prisoners.
Prosecutors conducted an investigation and now believe Worku worked as a high ranking prison official in the "Higher 15" prison which house about 1,500 political prisoners during the reign of President Mengistu, often referred to the "Red Terror."