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Court affirms convictions in marriage fraud case involving sailors

May. 29, 2013 - 08:57PM   |  
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RICHMOND, VA. — A federal appeals court has affirmed a Hampton manís convictions and sentence for arranging sham marriages between Navy sailors and illegal immigrants.

Jermar Jones was convicted in 2011 on 11 counts, including conspiracy and witness tampering. He was sentenced to four years and four months.

Court documents say Jones arranged sham marriages between sailors from his ship and illegal immigrants from his home country of Grenada, as well as Trinidad. The scheme was intended to obtain benefits for the so-called newlyweds, such as an easier path to citizenship. Sailors also received extra pay.

On appeal, Jones challenged the admission of statements made on recorded prison telephone calls and claimed his sentence was improperly calculated. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected his claims Wednesday.

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