SIOUX CITY – A husband and wife who encouraged and induced a father and his minor daughter to illegally enter in the United States were recently sentenced in federal court in Sioux City. Cristobal Francisco Nicolas was sentenced on May 29, 2020, to 18 months’ in federal prison. Amy Francisco was sentenced on March 20, 2020, to 12 months’ and 1 day in federal prison.
Amy Francisco, age 40, a citizen of the United States, and Cristobal Nicolas, age 37, a citizen of the Republic of Guatemala, both residing in Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison terms after pleading guilty to encouraging and inducing an alien to enter or reside in the United States in violation of law. Cristobal Nicolas was also convicted for unlawful possession of identification documents.
Information disclosed during the case showed that Amy Francisco and Cristobal Francisco illegally encouraged and induced aliens to enter or reside in the United States. Specifically, they encouraged aliens from Guatemala to enter the country. The Franciscos arranged for them to come to Sioux City, Iowa. Amy Francisco and Cristobal Francisco knew the aliens, a father and daughter, were citizens of Guatemala and were not permitted to enter or reside in the United States.
Further information showed that Amy Francisco and Cristobal Francisco encouraged a father and his minor daughter to enter the United States. The Franciscos admitted they intended to have the minor daughter serve as a surrogate mother for their baby. The Franciscos proposed to pay for all expenses incurred during the pregnancy, birth, and adoption of the baby. They also promised the daughter she could further her education and work to earn money while in the United States. The Franciscos also agreed to help find the father work in the country.
In the spring of 2019, the Franciscos, using the services of individuals outside the United States, arranged for the father and daughter to travel from Guatemala to the United States. After the father and daughter arrived in the country, the Franciscos paid for them to fly to Omaha, Nebraska, and eventually to travel to the Franciscos’ Sioux City home. The father and daughter stayed at the Franciscos’ home from May 31, 2019, through June 4, 2019. On June 4, 2019, the daughter ran away from the home. Officers from the Sioux City Police Department found her after she ran away.
Cristobal Francisco Nicolas was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Cristobal Francisco Nicolas was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a 2-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Amy Francisco was also sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Amy Francisco was sentenced to 12 months’ and 1 day imprisonment. She must also serve a 2-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Cristobal Francisco Nicolas and Amy Francisco are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to a federal prison.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Fletcher and investigated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Sioux City Police Department.