- Associated Press - Friday, April 27, 2018

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Two New Mexico residents have been sentenced on convictions stemming from a scheme to arrange fraudulent marriages to provide foreign nationals with obtain legal immigration status.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 44-year-old Yi Lee was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home confinement and fined $10,000 while 31-year-old Santiago Aveles of Las Cruces was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $2,500.

They were sentenced Thursday in federal court in Las Cruces.

According to a 2017 indictment, Lee, Aveles and four co-defendants conspired to obtain immigration status for foreign nationals by having U.S. citizens enter into fraudulent marriages with foreign nationals in exchange for money.

Lee plead guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud while Aveles pleaded guilty to conspiracy and marriage fraud.

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