A Guatemalan woman who was deported after serving eight years in prison on felony charges stemming from a 2008 fatal crash with a school bus in Cottonwood, Minn., was arrested Tuesday by immigration authorities for illegally re-entering the country.
Olga Marina Franco del Cid, 35, was arrested at her residence in Inver Grove Heights after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers got a tip that she had returned to Minnesota.
Franco del Cid was convicted in October 2008 of four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and 17 counts of criminal vehicular operation, giving a false name to police, failing to stop at the entrance to a thruway, and driving without a valid license. Four students died in the February 2008 crash.
The case drew nationwide attention at the time from people focused on the illegal immigration debate.
Responders at the scene found Franco del Cid behind the steering wheel, her right foot wedged under a crumpled dashboard near the accelerator. Her attorneys argued that her boyfriend was the one driving the van and fled because he didn't want to be deported to Mexico. They argued that he was thrown out of the van on impact, and Franco del Cid was thrown into the driver's seat.
Lyon County Attorney Rick Maes, who prosecuted the case, said reports and rumors of Franco del Cid's boyfriend being at the scene and allegations of him driving left a difficult uncertainty in the community. Franco del Cid later unsuccessfully appealed her conviction.
Franco del Cid was deported to Guatemala in 2016 after serving eight years of a 12½-year sentence. She remains in ICE custody pending possible federal proceedings or reinstatement of her removal order. If convicted of illegally re-entering the U.S., she could face up to 20 years in federal prison.