How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

L.A. arson suspect's mother not a deportee - she faces criminal charges, possible extradition

UPDATED: According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Dorothee Burkhart was arrested in Los Angeles last Wednesday "pursuant to the issuance of a provisional arrest warrant, which seeks her extradition to the Republic of Germany, where she faces numerous counts of fraud." The warrant was issued Dec. 19.

The Los Angeles arson suspect who reportedly caused a scene at his German mother's hearing didn't do so in immigration court over a pending deportation, as has been reported, but in federal court last week over his mother's possible extradition to Germany on criminal charges.

According to spokesman Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, the mother of 24-year-old Harry Burkhart, suspected of setting close more than 50 arson fires over the weekend, was arrested last week in Los Angeles on a provisional warrant related to a criminal case in Germany. He couldn't elaborate on the charges against the elder Burkhart, only to say that it's technically not an extradition yet, but that a provisional arrest warrant is typically the first step in an extradition case.

It was at Dorothee Burkhart's first federal court hearing last Thursday afternoon that a man - possibly her son - reportedly became angry and caused a scene, which in turn eventually led to someone who had been in the courtroom identifying him on a surveillance video. "There was an outburst by a male individual at Ms. Burkhart's first court appearance this Thursday," Mrozek said, though it's still not confirmed that this was the arson suspect.

Dorothee Burkhart, who also apparently had ties to a Los Angeles "tantra massage" website, is scheduled to appear in federal court again this afternoon. Immigration authorities have yet to release details about the younger Burkhart, who is a German national.

blog comments powered by Disqus