Alleged 'Russian mafia associate' arrested in Saskatoon served time in Ohio prison for visa fraud
A 48-year-old man described by U.S. police as a "documented Russian mafia associate" once served prison time in Ohio for charges similar to what he's now facing in Saskatoon.
Alexander Alexidze is on remand at the Saskatoon jail awaiting a bail hearing. Police arrested him May 14 at the west-end apartment where he lived. Police say they recovered multiple false and forged documents from the apartment.
Saskatoon police are saying little about how Alexidze came to be on their radar.
"On March 10, 2023, the Saskatoon Police Service became aware of a man wanted on warrants and suspected of fraud by several authorities in Canada and the United States to be living in Saskatoon under one of many assumed identities," police said in a news release.
"Investigation led police to attend an address in the 400 block of Pendygrasse Road on May 14, 2023, where the suspect was arrested without incident."
Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) first encountered Alexidze in May 2015, according to an ICE release from 2016. The release describes him as "a Georgian national and documented Russian mafia associate."
"Alexidze was arrested in May 2015 by ICE in Cleveland and subsequently convicted federally of fraudulent statements and visa fraud, for which he served nine months in prison," the ICE release said.
Alexidze was turned over to Canadian authorities in February 2016.
"Provincial authorities in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario have active warrants for Alexidze's arrest on multiple charges related to theft, identity fraud, false documentation and other charges," it said.
It was alleged that he committed the frauds in Canada from 2013 to 2015, sometimes using the alias "Alex Row."
Meanwhile, court documents in Saskatoon detail the latest allegations.
Alexidze is charged with procuring of false identity documents, possession of credit cards obtained by the commission of an offence, possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000, possession of citizenship documents for a fraudulent purpose, fraud over $5,000 and the use of forged documents.
Police also allege he had a stolen 2019 Chevrolet Malibu.
Police say more charges are expected as investigations continue in other jurisdictions.