As many as 40 African nationals earned their green cards through a phony marriage.

On Wednesday, 49-year-old Delmar Dixon and 37-year-old Shakeisha Harrison, both of Kansas City, pleaded guilty to their respective roles in a marriage fraud conspiracy involving African nationals. Co-defendant Traci R. Porter, 44, also of Kansas City, pleaded guilty in January to her role in the scheme.

According to the Department of Justice, Dixon admitted arranging 30 to 40 fraudulent marriages, including his own. He charged the Africans $1,000 upfront for his services, the most important of which was providing the Africans U.S. citizen spouses.

In addition, the African nationals had to pay the spouse $500 at the time of the wedding and an additional $500 upon its completion.  They also had to pay their new spouses $250 each month until the immigration process was complete. Dixon also coached the Africans on how to make their marriages appear legitimate. In 2008, Dixon himself had married a Kenyan national who had overstayed her visa.

Harrison married a Park University student from Tanzania in February 2010 and filed for permanent resident status for her new hubby in August 2014. Dixon arranged the marriage.

Porter admitted she too was involved in the scheme through her own marriage to a Kenyan national and in other fraudulent marriages she helped arrange.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) agents used a confidential informant and an undercover agent in their investigation. The informant  arranged a meeting with Dixon, paid the fees, and married the spouse Dixon provided in a “pretend ceremony” staged by Homeland Security. In late December 2015, Homeland Security launched the investigation using the undercover agent.

Dixon may face up to 15 years in federal prison without parole, Harrison and Porter 5 years. Prosecuting the case is Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Moore. The release by the United States Attorneys office of Western Missouri does not say whether the foreign nationals involved in these marriages retain the right stay in the United States.

 

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