Kidnapping call leads to stash house bust in southeast Houston

Published On: Feb 21 2013 06:41:58 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 21 2013 08:44:44 AM CST

Feb. 21, 2013: Thirty people are taken into custody at a southeast Houston home that was being used as an illegal immigrant stash house, officials say. Mark Boyle reports.

HOUSTON -

Houston police and federal agents took 28 people into custody Thursday at a southeast Houston house that was being used as an illegal immigrant stash house.

Police were called to the home in the 8500 block of Glenaire Street and Glenbrae around 3 a.m. by concerned parents. They said their 20-year-old, who was transported across the boarder illegally by a smuggler, was in danger.

The parents told investigators they agreed on a sum of money before the transport, but the smugglers, also known as coyotes, raised the price. The coyote said if the parents were not able to come up with the money, the 20-year-old would be harmed.  They did not have the money and called police.

When police arrived at the home, they found people stashed in cabinets, showers, and under beds -- anywhere there was space to hide.

Investigators placed 25 suspected illegal immigrants -- 21 males, two females and two male juveniles -- in handcuffs. Officials said they are from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Three males were taken into custody as suspected smugglers.

U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)  agents are working to identify everyone and confirm their immigration statuses.

Police said one suspected immigrant suffered minor injuries while trying to run from officers on the scene.

"One of the suspects fleeing the location attacked one of our officers. He did receive minor injuries from that fight.  He is OK.  He is also looking at possible assault on a peace officer for that," said Chris Hassig of the Houston Police Department.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified said he had no idea all of those people were living next door.

"I actually only see one or two guys, a guy in a pickup that's in and out like he's going to work daily, but really nothing unusual," he said.

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