News

More than 100 found in human trafficking raid

More than 100 found in human trafficking raid

PEOPLE FOUND: The fence along the international border between Mexico and the United States is seen in Penitas, Texas April 2, 2013 file photo. Photo: Reuters/Eric Thayer

By Andrea Lorenz

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Police found more than 100 foreign nationals from Central America and Mexico being warehoused in a rundown Houston-area residence during a raid on Wednesday into a suspected human smuggling operation.

Five people were arrested on suspicion of running the smuggling ring, while almost all of the group of 93 males and 15 females were also taken into custody on suspicion of entering the country illegally.

Many of the people came from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. There were also five children in the group, one as young as 5 years old, official said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Greg Palmore said this was one of the largest groups of people suspected of entering the country illegally discovered in a raid in several years in the border state of Texas.

“It’s safe to assume it’s an alleged smuggling investigation, but the extent hasn’t been ascertained,” Palmore said.

The group was being held in a 2,200 square-foot (204 square-meter) building with one bathroom, surrounded by land where pigs, geese and chickens were being kept, Palmore said.

Houston police found the group on the compound in south Houston while investigating a complaint of someone being held hostage, police spokesman John Cannon said.

The building’s windows were covered with plywood, and the doors had locks on them that could only be opened from outside, Cannon said.

Many people were being held in trash-filled rooms that were so cramped, it looked like “a sea of people,” Cannon said.

Several hundred chickens were also found on the premises, which police believed were used in illegal cockfighting. The chickens were turned over to the Houston SPCA, he said.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Latest Stories

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Protest Outside Phi Kappa Psi Triggers Trespassing Arrests

D

Four people have been arrested for trespassing at a fraternity house associated with UVA.

in Local Sports, Sports, UVA Sports

Virginia Downs Miami 30-13 On Senior Day

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia

Virginia defeats the Hurricanes to keep bowl hopes alive.

in Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Radford Includes Gender ID In Anti-Discrimination Policy

Kyle Penny 91110 CC

Radford University now includes trangender students and employees as part of its anti-discrimination policy.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA, Virginia Assembly

UVA Takes Action Following Incident Chronicled In Rolling Stone

D

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan has taken action regarding offenses that were highlighted in a Rolling Stone article.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

elvis

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.