HK passenger found concealing ‘ice’ pleads guilty


A Hong Kong passenger who was found concealing methamphetamine or “ice” in his luggage during an inspection by Customs inspectors at the Francisco-C. Ada-Saipan International Airport last Thursday, entered a guilty plea in federal court yesterday.

At the scheduled detention hearing yesterday afternoon, the parties informed U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona that defendant Nairu Li signed a plea deal with the U.S. government.

Li, 45, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of unlawful importation of a controlled substance. The offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

A complaint was originally filed charging the same offense against the defendant.

Manglona accepted Li’s guilty plea and set the sentencing for Oct. 20, 2017 at 9am.

Attorney Colin Thompson is court-appointed counsel for Li.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe, counsel for the U.S. government, said according to the factual basis of the plea agreement Li brought from Hong Kong over 5 grams of “ice” hidden in his luggage at the airport last Thursday.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force Officer Raymond M. Renguul revealed that Li arrived on a Hong Kong Airlines flight from Hong Kong.

Renguul in the complaint disclosed that the inspector became suspicious after noticing that Li was visibly shaking as he was removing a cigarette pack from his jacket.

Renggul said inspectors found “ice” hidden in an orange tube-like container placed in Li’s luggage.

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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