By Carl Keith Greene / Staff Writer

Emir Dadanovic, the presumptive leader of a drug cartel that operated in Laurel County for at least two years, is set to be arraigned today in U.S District Court in London.

The arraignment, at which Dadanovic is expected to enter a plea, is set for 1 p.m. in Court Room C.

Also scheduled for arraignment at the same time, according to online court documents, are Mladen Bjelogravic and Omer Dugalic.

Dadanovic, who also went by the aliases Dzenan Ramic, Tony Lnu and Diego, is charged in the first count of the four count indictment, filed on Sept. 23, with operating a criminal enterprise involving five or more other persons.

If found guilty of the charge, Dadanocvic could be sentenced for life and a fine of up to $4 million.

The indictment indicated the alleged criminal activity covered the periods between July 2007 and August 2009. The trial is currently set for Dec. 15.

Dadanovic was also charged with distributing at least five kilograms of cocaine, trafficking in other controlled substances and transporting cash from Kentucky to Texas and Mexico.

He and Omer Dugalic were arrested around Oct. 14, in southern Indiana.

Omer Dugalic was also charged with trafficking in cocaine, as was Mladen Bjelogravic.

A detention hearing Tuesday for Donta Hamilton, apparently a native of the U.S., said to be of West Virginia, and charged in the indictment with trafficking in cocaine, was continued.

Hamilton was arraigned on Oct. 16 in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

Omer’s brother Kemal Dugalic and Kemal’s girlfriend, Ernestina Hajric, who faced a detention hearing Monday, have been remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service. Kemal and Hajric are charged with cocaine and marijuana trafficking.

That trio reportedly came to the U.S. from Croatia.

Also involved in the case are Arnol Rubehin Caseres, Halil Batlak and Shane Page.

Thus far, nine of what appear to be 11 suspects listed in the indictment have been unsealed.

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