Former CNMI Senator Sentenced To 41 Months Imprisonment for Obstructing Justice and Violating the Endangered Species Act
Saipan, MP – United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, announced that JUAN MANGLONA AYUYU, former Senator for the island of Rota in the Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature, was sentenced on March 31, 2014, by Judge Ramona Manglona in the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. Ayuyu was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his convictions of Conspiring to Obstruct a Grand Jury Investigation and Conspiring to Violate the Endangered Species Act. Ayuyu was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
Ayuyu and his legislative assistant, Ryan James Inos Manglona, attempted to transport eight federally protected Mariana fruit bats, or Fanihi, on board a Freedom Air flight from Rota to Saipan. The bats, however, were discovered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Ayuyu instructed Manglona to lie to a Federal grand jury investigating their involvement.
The investigation was led by Erwin T. Flores, Conservation Inspector with the CNMI Division of Fish & Wildlife, an agency under the CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resources, together with agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth R. Backe.