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    Saturday, December 7, 2019-11:55:15A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Man arrested for refusing to leave immigration removal facility pleads not guilty

CHENG Jin has pled not guilty to the charge of “failing to comply with lawful direction.”

A person found guilty of the offense “shall be fined under title 18 of the United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both.”

The U.S. government said the incident happened at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations office in Gualo Rai on Oct. 24, 2019.

At the arraignment on Nov. 18, District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy appointed attorney Steven Pixley to represent Jin. Brandon Dogget served as the defendant’s interpreter while Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe appeared for the federal government.

The judge said the bench trial will begin on Nov. 25, at 10 a.m.

According to the U.S. government, the defendant “while in or on Federal property, knowingly and willfully failed to comply with signs of a prohibitory, regulatory and directory nature, and the lawful direction of a Federal police officer or other authorized individual….”

Jin “refused to comply with the lawful directions of authorized personnel that he leave the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office in Gualo Rai.

Judge Kennedy told the parties that she will address the CVB violation at the bench trial.

She said if the defendant is found guilty, she will proceed with sentencing.

According to its website, the Central Violations Bureau or CVB is “a national center charged with processing violation notices (tickets) issued and payments received for petty offenses committed on federal property.”

Federal Protective Service inspector Sean T. White earlier said that Jin created a disturbance at the same ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office in Gualo Rai on Oct. 3, 2019. In that incident, Jin was issued a citation for obstructing the use of a government entrance.

The court allowed Jin, who has pending immigration proceedings, to remain released on his own personal recognizance.