Illegal worker pleads guilty, gets time served


One of two overstaying tourists who were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week for illegally working as construction workers pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday afternoon.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona sentenced Shubiao Niu to six days of time served in jail.

Niu was charged with improper entry by an alien.

He was sentenced to six days of time served, ordered to pay a $10 court assessment fee, and placed on one year of supervised release. He will be deported at once.

Niu entered the guilty plea a day after the U.S. government filed separate information charging him and Youcai Li each with improper entry by an alien.

Robert T. Torres is the court-appointed counsel for Niu. Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley appeared for the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, Li pleaded not guilty yesterday. His detention hearing will be on June 4. Benjamin Petersburg is his court-appointed counsel.

According to the information, Niu and Li, both Chinese citizens, lied to U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors that their purpose for entering the CNMI was for “tourism.”

In fact, Niu and Li intended to find work and live on Saipan under the CNMI-only conditional parole program, in violation of the U.S. Code.

Niu and Li entered the CNMI on Jan. 24, 2016 and March 18, 2018, respectively.

ICE agents arrested the two along the road near Moonlight Shopping along Beach Road in Chalan Kanoa last week.

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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