PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – A Federal Grand Jury has returned an indictment charging Jacobo Feliciano-Francisco, a.k.a. “Uriel Castillo-Ochoa”, a.k.a “Kiko”, age 30, with federal criminal violations related to kidnapping, retaliating against a witness, and transporting an individual in interstate commerce for prostitution.
The indictment alleges that between 2006 and 2011, numerous organized individuals created a network of brothels and prostitution delivery services in Tennessee and Kentucky, using undocumented aliens from Spanish-speaking countries.
F.T., a female individual, cooperated with the FBI in its investigation into these individuals after she was forced and coerced into working as a prostitute for approximately three years. Due to her cooperation, a total of 13 individuals were convicted in Tennessee and Kentucky of various federal sex-trafficking and prostitution criminal charges. In the fall of 2012, following her cooperation with law enforcement, F.T. was approached at her Tennessee residence by another individual and confronted about her cooperation. Out of concern for the safety of F.T. and her family, she and her family were relocated to Panama City Beach, Florida.
Following F.T.’s relocation, Feliciano-Francisco and others conspired to kidnap and did kidnap F.T. with the intent to transport her from Florida to Louisiana where she would be forced to work as a prostitute in retaliation for her prior cooperation with law enforcement. During her kidnapping, F.T. was sexually assaulted by Feliciano-Francisco, and he and others repeatedly threatened the physical safety of both her and her family. Feliciano-Francisco transported F.T. to a residence in Mississippi where she was confined until another conspirator arrived to pick her up and transport her to Louisiana.
Counts one and two of the indictment charge Feliciano-Francisco with conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping. If convicted on those counts, Feliciano-Francisco faces a term of imprisonment of up to life, supervised release of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a $100 special monetary assessment. Counts three, four, and five of the indictment charge Feliciano-Francisco with retaliation against a witness, transportation of an individual in interstate commerce for prostitution, and coercion into prostitution.
If convicted on counts three and five of his indictment, Feliciano-Francisco faces a term of imprisonment of not more than 20 years. If convicted on count four of his indictment, Feliciano-Francisco faces a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years. Additionally, as to each of counts three, four, and five, Feliciano-Francisco faces the imposition of a fine of up to $250,000, supervised release of up to three years, and a $100 special monetary assessment.
Feliciano-Francisco appeared Monday for his initial appearance and arraignment in United States District Court in Panama City, Florida. He pled not guilty to the charges and his trial was scheduled for Dec. 9 before United States District Judge Richard Smoak.