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OPSO arrests Russian native

A Russian native with suspected ties to the Russian mafia has been arrested after nearly a year-long investigation by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office and Kentucky police.
Yuri George Schulman, 24, of 149 Wainright No. 16 in West Monroe, was arrested Tuesday on an outstanding warrant from Woodford County, Ky. Schulman is being held in the Ouachita Correctional Center awaiting extradition to Kentucky.
The investigation began in April after Ouachita Parish Cpl. Jim Funderburk began working an incident on Nick Spillers Road in Calhoun involving a wrecked and abandoned vehicle with a canceled Kentucky tag. The original owner of the vehicle was located and contacted in Versailles, Ky. The owner of the vehicle then contacted the Woodford County Sheriff's Office.
According to Woodford County Sheriff Wayne Wright, the vehicle owner's daughter had been reported missing and she was known to be with Schulman, who was wanted for second-degree burglary.
"He skipped town on a felony warrant on a burglary charge," Wright said. "The girl's family thought she was being held against her will, but we found out she was in a relationship with him."
Wright said he had been in contact with U.S.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement about Schulman, who was also looking for the Ukrainian native. However, Wright said he did not have specific information on why the fugitive was wanted by ICE.
A spokesman for ICE in New Orleans said the agency was not allowed to release information on the issue.
Funderburk and Woodford County Sheriff's investigators continued working on the case throughout the remainder of 2010.
Schulman also has an extensive criminal history with possible ties to the Russian Mafia, according to the Woodford County Sheriff's Office.
Wright said investigators got a break in the case when they recently learned Schulman had a cell phone in his name. This number began to show on numerous calls in the Ouachita Parish area.
After subpoenas were filed with AT&T, the (pay-as-you-go) phone was located at an area off Louisiana 34 in southwest Ouachita Parish.
"That's how we tracked him down," Wright said. "He had turned it off. But it just so happened he must have paid the minutes up and used it and we tracked him."
Schulman was arrested without incident and booked into OCC.
Wright said Schulman is also expected to be charged with rape after his DNA was positively matched to an open rape case being investigated in Woodford County.
"We've been after him for about a year," Wright said. (The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office) has been great to work with. I cannot believe how quick and supportive they have been."