CNMI Bureau of Motor Vehicles chief facing federal indictment for illegal ID production
The CNMI's longtime Bureau of Motor Vehicles chief is facing federal charges for a conspiracy to unlawfully produce an identification document. Juana Leon Guerrero is now on administrative leave waiting for her day in court.
The longtime chief is looking at a federal indictment after a grand jury found that she and co-defendant Yongde Li, also known as Ivan, conspired to illegally produce an identification document with other individuals known and unknown to the grand jury.
The March 16 indictment says it was between September 2021 through October 2022 that the defendants intentionally conspired and agreed to produce false NMI driver licenses. Court documents state that the "use was in or affected interstate and foreign commerce."
The indictment comes after FBI agents raided the BMV and Department of Public Safety offices last December.
The BMV is under DPS, whose acting commissioner Clement Bermudes told KUAM that he met with Leon Guerrero Thursday night after being informed of the indictment and decided to place her on administrative leave.
"With this Leon Guerrero case, it is a federal indictment, and I want to respect the process that is ongoing and we will keep the community posted as it further develops," Bermudes said.
He says DPS is cooperating with federal investigators. The chief was appointed to lead the BMV in 2006. She went before a House panel in August 2021 during former Governor Ralph Torres' impeachment investigation in a separate matter. She was asked to describe her scope of work.
Leon Guerrero said, "Part of the duties are registering vehicles, registering of vessels...administering of the written test, learners permit, and the driver license."
Leon Guerrero and Li are set to appear before a federal judge on March 20.