EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Five people, including a former Fort Carson soldier, were sentenced for engaging in fraudulent marriages and lying about it to investigators.
United States Attorney Jason Dunn announced the sentences Thursday for the following people:
- Sergeant Galima Murry, age 29, was sentenced to serve 8 months in federal prison, followed by 2 years on supervised release.
- Diann Ramcharan, age 37, was sentenced to serve 4 months in federal prison, followed by 2 years on supervised release.
- Rajesh Ramcharan, age 45, was sentenced to serve 3 months in federal prison, followed by 2 years on supervised release.
- Pastor Ken Harvell, age 60, was sentenced to serve 3 years of probation with the first 4 months in home confinement.
- Angelica Guevara, age 31, was sentenced to serve 1 year of probation.
The Ramcharans, a married couple, came to the United States from Trinidad & Tobago on visitor visas in 2007. Both outstayed their visas and settled in Colorado, according to court documents. The couple would later devise a scheme to bypass immigration laws and stay in the country unlawfully.
In 2010, Pastor Harvell signed a marriage certificate for the couple. The Ramcharans then filed for divorce. Five days after the divorce was finalized, Harvell signed another marriage certificate for Diann and Sergeant Murry, who at the time was a soldier at Fort Carson.
Murry and Diann entered the marriage to help her evade immigration laws to stay in the country. In addition, the sergeant was able to obtain military benefits by claiming the new marriage, according to the attorney general.
In 2015, Rajesh married Guevara, who is a U.S. citizen. Pastor Harvell again married the two, knowingly and voluntarily participating in the scheme, prosecutors say.
Throughout the Ramcharans' fraudulent marriages to Murry and Guevara, the Ramcharans lived together and presented themselves to the world as a married couple.
“We have a legitimate and legal processes for becoming a citizen of this country that we expect everyone to follow,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “Thousands upon thousands of people do so every year, but these individuals tried to illegally shortcut that process for their own benefit and greed, and as a result will now pay a steep price.”
Each defendant was convicted for also lying to U.S. immigration officials as the Ramcharans' tried to gain lawful immigration status in the country.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID), with assistance from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.