BMV director pleads not guilty
The director of the Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Juana Deleon Guerrero, has pleaded not guilty to the license fraud charge filed against her by the U.S. government.
Deleon Guerrero appeared yesterday before U.S. District Court for the NMI magistrate judge Heather Kennedy with her lawyer, Robert Torres, to answer to the indictment filed against her.
Deleon Guerrero, through Torres, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiring with others to unlawfully produce an identification document.
Deleon Guerrero was also questioned about her eligibility for a court-appointed counsel and she was found non-indigent.
After pleading not guilty, Kennedy set Deleon Guerrero’s trial for May 23, at 10am before releasing her under her own recognizance.
Also present at yesterday’s hearing were Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Haejun Park, and assistant U.S. attorneys Ashley Kost and Albert Flores Jr.
According to DPS, Deleon Guerrero has since been placed on indefinite administrative leave following the issuance of the indictment against her.
Flores filed over the weekend the indictment against Deleon Guerrero in the U.S. District Court for the NMI on a charge of conspiring with others to unlawfully produce an identification document.
According to the indictment, Deleon Guerrero conspired with Li Yongde, also known as Ivan, from about Sept. 1, 2021, through about Oct. 31, 2022, to unlawfully produce a CNMI driver’s license.
“[The defendants] knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with each other, and other persons known and unknown to the grand jury, to commit an offense against the United States: specifically, to knowingly and without lawful authority produce an identification document, authentication feature, and false identification document, to wit a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands driver licenses, and the prohibited production, transfer, possession, and use was in or affected interstate and foreign commerce, including the transfer of a document by electronic means, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 10 Sections 1028(a)(1), (b)(l)(A)(ii), (c)(3)(A) & (f),” Flores said.
The indictment against Deleon Guerrero comes after the recent raid the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted on the bureau.
Back in December 2022, FBI agents raided BMV and the CNMI Department of Public Safety’s central office. FBI agents showed up unannounced at BMV and DPS central office in Susupe last Dec. 17, 2022, to carry out a search warrant issued for both offices.