A Shelton resident has been convicted of participating in a sham marriage in hopes of becoming a legal permanent resident of the U.S.

Eloy Daniel Nevarez Andazola,was born in Mexico. He was married in 1997 in Gosper County to a U.S. citizen.  The two never lived together, and Andazola used the sham marriage to further his pursuit of obtaining permanent legal status in the U.S., U.S. Attorney Robert C. Stuart said.

Andazola, 40, was sentenced Feb. 9 to two years probation. He was also fined $1,500 for “false swearing” in an immigration matter, Stuart announced Monday.

Stuart said Andazola admitted he made a false statement when applying for status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. He answered “no” to the question whether he had “married someone in order to obtain an immigration benefit.”

He also answered “no” when asked if he had “committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit a crime or offense for which he was not arrested,” according to the U.S. attorney’s announcement.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard.