Texas ICE Agents Find 100 Immigrants UPDATE: Pregnant Woman, Children Among Hostages Found in Houston Stash House
Mar 20, 2014 12:05 PM EDT
Texas Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced on Thursday that the 108 immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras found in a Houston stash house included two children and at least one pregnant woman.
U.S. Customs officers discovered the group of suspected illegal immigrants inside the small, filthy and packed home on Almeda School Road on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.
Five suspects have been arrested for alleged human trafficking, and were reportedly holding the undocumented men, women and children against their will inside the locked house.
ICE authorities responded to a call about the house on Wednesday morning. When cops arrived on the scene, they found more than 100 people crowded into the one-bathroom house. Police searched for a pregnant woman and her two kids, aged five and seven, who were reportedly in the vicinity. According to the Daily News, a coyote brought the mother and children to the United States from Mexico, and wouldn't let them free until they forked over some more money.
Upon entering the stash house, law enforcement officials called the mother's name. She came out with her two children.
They are reportedly in fine health.
But the conditions of the house were a different story entirely - excrement and human waste littered the ground, while old clothing stuffed into trash bags were stacked in the hallways. Hungry, thirsty people - some of whom were only wearing underwear - sat in tiny spaces, the Daily News reported.
"There is no hot water in the house," Houston Police Department spokesperson John Cannon told the Daily News. "There is a toilet that partially works, one bathroom for an excess of 100 people."
Five suspects were brought into police custody, after three people inside the residence attempted fleeing from law enforcement. The hostages were moved to U.S. Immigration and Customer Enforcement headquarters.