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)

Recent Headlines

in Music, Entertainment

Lorde curating ‘Hunger Games’ soundtrack

lorde

The 17-year-old pop star is recording a single for the third installment of the franchise.

in Entertainment

David Cassidy reportedly skips court for race track

cassidy

The '70s heartthrob was reportedly at the race track while his attorney was in court representing him on a drunken driving charge.

in Lifestyle

Adults embrace art, science sleepovers

museum

Kids have been sleeping overnight in museums across the country for years and now adults are getting in on the fun.

in Entertainment

Stars hold out for big payday on ‘Big Bang Theory’

bigbang

Production of the hit comedy is on hold as the show's stars demand big bucks.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Guardians’ among year’s most entertaining

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Director James Gunn elevates our August with one of the most entertaining films of 2014, Marvel’s "Guardians of the Galaxy."