Sioux City couple sentenced to prison for encouraging undocumented immigrants from Guatemala to enter the U.S. illegally

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A husband and wife who encouraged and induced a father and his minor daughter to illegally enter in the United States were recently sentenced to prison in a Sioux City federal court.

Cristobal Francisco Nicolas was sentenced on May 29 to 18 months in federal prison. Amy Francisco was sentenced on March 20 to one year and one day in federal prison. 

Amy Francisco, 40, a citizen of the United States, and Cristobal Francisco Nicolas, 37, a citizen of the Republic of Guatemala, both residing in Sioux City, received the prison terms after pleading guilty to encouraging and inducing an alien to enter or reside in the United States against the law.

Information disclosed during the case showed that the Franciscos illegally encouraged and induced a father and his minor daughter to enter the United States.  

According to court documents, the Franciscos knew the father and daughter were citizens of Guatemala and were not permitted to enter or reside in the United States. 

The Franciscos admitted they intended to have the minor daughter serve as a surrogate mother for their baby.  The couple 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 make money while working in the U.S. Additionally, the Franciscos agreed to help find work for the father.

In the spring of 2019, the Franciscos, using the services of individuals outside the country, arranged for the father and daughter to travel from Guatemala to the U.S., according to court documents.

After the father and daughter arrived in the country, the Franciscos paid for them to fly to Omaha and eventually to travel to their Sioux City home.

The father and daughter stayed at the Franciscos’ home from May 31 through June 4, 2019. On June 4, the daughter ran away and was found by officers from the Sioux City Police Department.

Francisco Nicolas was also convicted for unlawful possession of identification documents. The couple must both serve a two-year term of supervised release after their prison terms.

The Franciscos are being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until they can be transported to federal prison.

There is no parole in the federal system for either individual.

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