Ex-Kansas soldier gets 10 months for sham marriage

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Associated Press

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 15 at 1:35 PM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas soldier has been sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for entering into a sham marriage so he could get additional military benefits and his Jamaican bride could become a legal immigrant.

Joshua Priest was also ordered to pay nearly $30,000 in restitution for the fraudulently obtained housing and subsistence benefits.

The former Fort Riley private apologized at his hearing Monday in Wichita and said he doesn't "plan to do anything like that again."

He pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and wire fraud.

Prosecutors asked for a more lenient sentence because Priest cooperated and testified against his wife, Shannakay Hunter.

But U.S. District Judge Monti Belot rejected the request, saying Priest violated the oath he took as a soldier.

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