Five Defendants Sentenced For Marriage/Immigration Scheme
DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn today announced that five defendants have been sentenced this week for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and making false statements regarding that fraud to the government. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Army Criminal Investigations Division (Army CID), joined in the announcement.
Those sentenced this week were:
- 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.
According to facts established at trial, the purpose of the conspiracy was to obtain immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children. The Ramcharans, a married couple, came to the United States from Trinidad & Tobago on visitor visas in 2007. They overstayed their visitor visas and settled in Colorado. They then devised a scheme to defeat United States immigration laws and stay in the country illegally.
The scheme had several steps. First, in 2010, the couple was married by Pastor Ken Harvell, who signed a marriage certificate for the Ramcharans. The couple then filed for a divorce. Five days after that divorce was finalized, Pastor Harvell signed a new marriage certificate for Diann Ramcharan and Sergeant Galima Murry. Sergeant Murry is a citizen of the United States and at the time was a soldier at Fort Carson. Diann Ramcharan and Sergeant Murry entered into this marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws and enabling Diann Ramcharan to stay in the United States. In addition, Sergeant Murry separately obtained military benefits by claiming to be married to Diann Ramcharan. Several years later, in 2015, Rajesh Ramcharan entered into a marriage with Angelica Guevara, who also is a citizen of the United States. Pastor Harvell, whom the jury found knowingly and voluntarily participated in the conspiracy, also signed the marriage certificate between Guevara and Rajesh Ramcharan. During the time of both the Ramcharans’ fraudulent marriages to Murry and Guevara, the Ramcharans lived with each other and otherwise presented themselves to the world as a married couple.
“We have 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 also convicted for their involvement in the submission of at least one false statement to U.S. immigration authorities as part of the Ramcharans’ attempts to gain lawful immigration status in the United States. Guevara pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and testified at trial about the marriage fraud scheme.
Four of the five defendants were earlier found guilty following a nine-day jury trial, with the guilty verdicts announced on January 16, 2020. The fifth defendant pleaded guilty. The trial and sentencings hearings were conducted by U.S. District Court Judge David M. Ebel.
The defendants were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel McIntyre and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Treaster. 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.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. Related court documents can be found on PACER by searching for Case Number 19-cr-154.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.