Federal Protective Service inspector Sean White intercepted last week another alleged overstaying tourist who was able to obtain a CNMI driver’s license through fraud.
Huangqi Wu, a Chinese national, was subsequently arrested on charges of producing a fraudulently obtained identification document to law enforcement personnel.
Wu was taken before U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy for his initial appearance Monday afternoon. Colin M. Thompson appeared as his counsel.
According to Homeland Security Investigations Task Force officer Cristin Duenas, White did a traffic stop on a vehicle being operated by Wu at the Marina Heights Building II in Puerto Rico for an alleged “code of federal regulation violation.”
In his affidavit, Duenas said that Wu presented a CNMI driver’s license to White as his form of identification. White then asked HSI to run a system check on the license to see if it has any outstanding warrants. Duenas said the Department of Homeland Security system identified Wu as a citizen of the People’s Republic of China who had overstayed his CNMI-only conditional parole.
Wu’s license, which is believed to have been obtained using a fraudulent immigration document, was turned over to an HSI Task Force officer once White was done issuing his citation.
Duenas said that, at the HSI office, Wu was fingerprinted and photographed and, through biometric comparison, his identity was confirmed.
DHS records confirmed that Wu entered the CNMI on Sept. 27, 2016, and was granted a CNMI-only conditional parole by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that was effective until Sept. 30, 2016.
Duenas said Wu overstayed his authorized parole date and is therefore subject to being deported.
The Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles provided the HSI Task Force officer with Wu’s driver’s license, operator’s permit application form dated July 30, 2018, copies of his PRC driver’s license, PRC passport, U.S. immigration form I-797A, and other documents.
According to DHS systems, Duenas said, the receipt number listed on the I-797A form was valid but registered to another individual and not assigned to Wu.
Duenas said records check conducted on Wu’s name and date of birth revealed no immigration petition.
“Based on these results it was determined that the I-797A submitted with the July 30, 2018 driver’s license application was fraudulent,” he said.
Duenas said that during their interview with the help of a Mandarin interpreter, Wu admitted that he had overstayed his parole and that he is currently illegally present in the U.S.
Wu allegedly stated he needed a driver’s license in order for him to work in the CNMI.
The defendant allegedly explained that he couldn’t get a driver’s license because of his immigration status. Wu allegedly asked a known conspirator to help him get a driver’s license.
Wu denied making the fraudulent I-797 immigration form that was used to obtain his CNMI driver’s license.
Duenas said the defendant claimed that he paid a “known conspirator” 2,100 RMB or approximately $300 for assistance in getting his license.
After submitting the driver’s license application with the fraudulent I-797 form, BMV issued Wu a CNMI driver’s license.