By: TAYLOR GIBSON
The Houston Police Department (HPD) discovered over 100 immigrants living in a stash house in South Harris County Mar. 19.
After receiving a report about a kidnap occurring the evening of Tuesday, March 18, the HPD conducted surveillance on the suspected home. Officers staked out the house in the 14700 block of Almeda School Road and pulled over a vehicle leaving the house Wednesday. When they found two firearms and evidence of human smuggling in the vehicle, the HPD raided the house.
HPD officers reported 94 men and 14 women crammed in the home. One of the women was pregnant and was taken to the hospital after the raid.
“Bodies upon bodies, people stacked on top of each other. Dirty, filthy, conditions,” HPD spokesperson John Cannon said to KPRC Local 2 News. “Our focus from the get-go has been the safety of the mother and the children.”
Cannon said that all individuals found in the home were illegal immigrants held by a group of males for nearly two weeks. Many of them were found wearing nothing but underwear or pants and had no footwear.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers said that the males were running the largest operation they have seen in five years. An ICE spokesperson reported they have taken 5 individuals into custody.
The immigrants have been taken to an ICE detention facility. They will be fingerprinted and undergo a medical exam. ICE officers will interview each immigrant to determine if they will return to their home country on a case-to-case basis. A judge will ultimately decide if the immigrants will be sent back or not.