Friday, November 25, 2005

Sailors and Sham Marriages

Six U.S. Navy crew members looking for quick and profitable marriages to undocumented aliens face federal charges after bing among 10 people cuaght in an FBI sting operation targeting the sham unions. The six, assigned to the U.S.S. Eisenhower in Norfolk, VA, were caught after the FBI learned that a Baltimore man was recruiting men and women to enter sham marriages in New York, according to a complaint in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The Baltimore man offered to provide people to marry undocumented aliens at a cost of $3,000 to $4,000 per marriage, the complaint said.

The six Navy members and a former seaman came in recent weeks to New York, where they thought they were meeting aliens from Egypt, Russia, South America, and Europe. Instead, they were meeting FBI undercover agents or informants and cooperating witnesses working under the FBI's supervision. The defendants could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. The government said one of the Navy defendants told the cooperating witness that the sam marriage would allow her to apply to the Navy for increased financial benefits.

Source: Associated Press, Nov. 15, 2005

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