Alleged overstaying tourist allowed to post bail


The federal court denied the U.S. government’s motion yesterday to detain an alleged overstaying female tourist who was arrested last week on suspicion of using a fake CNMI driver’s license.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy allowed Chunqiao Chen to be released to a third-party custodian upon posting a $2,500 cash bail.

Kennedy deemed Chen a flight risk but that the court could set certain terms and conditions for her temporary release.
Kennedy ordered Chen to abide by those terms and conditions of her pretrial release.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe argued for the U.S. government’s motion for detention.

Chen’s court-appointed counsel, Steven P. Pixley, asked that she be released to a third-party custodian.

According to a complaint filed by Homeland Security special agent Nicole Sively, HSI task force officer Jesse Dubrall encountered Chen last Thursday and recognized her as the one from whom he had seized an expired Saipan driver’s license last May 2.

Sively said that when Dubrall asked Chen why she was driving again when he had previously advised her that she could not legally drive on Saipan, she allegedly presented Dubrall with another driver’s license.

After checking with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Dubrall determined that the Saipan’s driver’s license was fake, prompting him to arrest Chen.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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