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The situation seemed out of a Hollywood film: a married Midwestern immigrant reconnects with a lost Macedonianlove barred from entering the United States, then swipes his wife’s passport to sneak her across the Canadian border for a romantic rendezvous.

Federal officials allege Rahim Javorovac was the center of the story that unraveled at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit one night last month. The former Michigan resident and his returning lover were caught and now face serious charges that could separate them for years.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Javorovac, 49, pulled up to a border inspection booth on Sept. 15 in a Nissan SUV bearing a Texas license plate and a woman, Lenche Krcoska, in the passenger seat.

Presenting to the officer a pair of U.S. passports that Javorovac said belonged to them, the Macedonia-born man now living in Illinois said he and his wife were returning from visiting a friend in Windsor for several hours, the filing stated.

The officer immediately spotted a problem: Krcoska did not resemble the photo in the passport showing Javorovac’s wife. He requested a second form of identification.

Javorovac, who became a U.S. citizen in 2006 and runs a delivery business, handed over his driver’s license. When the officer sought the woman’s, the father of four responded: “She doesn’t drive. She doesn’t have one,” investigators reported.

The staffer then asked if the passenger had a wallet in the bag on her lap. “No, I carry everything,” Javorovac replied. “She doesn’t carry that stuff.”

Suspicious, the officer inquired if the passports were theirs. Javorovac answered ‘Yes,’ the affidavit stated.

Several other workers also compared the passport picture to Krcoska, who is in her early 50s, and “all believed the female passenger to be an impostor,” authorities wrote.

A search of the woman’s fingerprints using the Automated Fingerprint Identification System led to a match in the Consolidated Consular Database, which revealed her identity as Krcoska. In 2015, the U.S. Department of State had denied the Macedonia native a visitor visa since her husband and son had entered the U.S. the year before and "overstayed their lawful admission," officials said.

“All pertinent immigration and law enforcement databases were queried and were negative for any official authorization for Krcoska to enter, or attempt to enter the United States,” an affidavit in the case read.

Canada Border Services Agency authorities later confirmed that Krcoska flew into Canada in July using the name Elena Treneska and a Macedonian passport.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Customs Border and Protection enforcement officer interviewed Javorovac, who said he had taken his wife’s passport without permission to help Krcoska.

Javorovac told him he and Krcoska were romantically involved for about a week “20 or 30 years ago” in Macedonia but had no contact until she arrived in Canada. The pair briefly spoke twice on the phone and hatched the passport plot so they could “spend a few hours together” at a Metro Detroit hotel, according to an affidavit.

Both were taken into custody and charged with improperly using a U.S. passport issued to another person, court records show.

Such a case isn't unusual, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said, but “anytime a person tries to enter the United States unlawfully is a cause for great concern and we will take swift action, because we don’t know who they truly are or what their reasons are for coming into the United States.”

Attorneys listed as representing Krcoska and Javorovac did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The government has ordered Krcoska detained pending a trial. She appeared in court with a translator this month and has pleaded not guilty, records show. 

Javorovac attended a hearing Tuesday in federal court before Magistrate Judge David R. Grand. He was released on a $10,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport as well as limit travel to Michigan and Illinois.

The judge imposed another restriction before a preliminary examination scheduled for next month: Do not attempt to use anyone else’s ID.

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