National Security

Chinese National, US Official Sentenced In Scheme To Get Driver’s Licenses For Illegal Immigrants

(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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A Chinese national along with a U.S. government official were sentenced for their roles in a scheme to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, the United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands announced Monday.

Juana Cabrera Leon Guerrero, a U.S. citizen and Chief of the Northern Mariana Islands’ Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), and Yongde “Ivan” Li, a citizen of China, were both sentenced as part of the scheme, which involved illegal immigrants paying a “street broker” up to $1,700 for a new driver’s license and $300 for a renewal, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Li paid Guerrero and others payments of $500 cash for the illegal transactions, while also providing meals and free taxi services.

Leon Guerrero was sentenced to 60 months incarceration, ordered to pay a $15,000 fine and $100 special assessment fee and serve three years of supervised release following imprisonment. Li was sentenced to 10 months incarceration, ordered to pay $200 in special assessment fees, complete 50 hours of community service in lieu of a fine, and serve five years of supervised release following imprisonment. (RELATED: Police Bust Massive Suspected Chinese Illegal Marijuana Grow In Maine)

TOPSHOT – A Chinese national flag is pictured during the medal ceremony for the women’s 63kg judo event during the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang province on September 25, 2023. (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

“This scheme created a substantial risk to public safety,” U.S. Attorney Shawn N. Anderson said in a statement Monday. “Licensing requirements help reduce the risk of harm to other drivers and pedestrians on our roadways. We expect a higher standard of conduct from public officials. This case sends a strong message of accountability.”

The “street brokers” submitted fraudulent immigration documents to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) with the help of Guerrero, who allowed Li to submit these applications on at least 50 occasions between January 2020 and December 2022, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Guerrero also directed at least five BMV employees to help Li obtain the licenses.

“The FBI will not condone government workers who use their position of trust for their own ill-gotten gains,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill said in a statement Monday. “This sentence should serve as a warning to others that the FBI will investigate these types of cases to the fullest extent of the law.”

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Jennie Taer