Federal immigration authorities say that they discovered dozens of illegal immigrants and some weapons in an alleged “stash house” in Laredo, Texas.
According to a news release from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the discovery was the result of joint efforts between the U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Webb County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).
Over the weekend, WCSO provided the feds with information about a possible stash house. That was followed up with joint surveillance conducted by Border Patrol, HSI, and WCSO, along with a “knock and talk” at the address.
In total, authorities found 43 illegal aliens from the countries of Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico, and Honduras along with “several weapons,” CBP says. The 43 were found to be in good health before being arrested, and the case was then turned over to HSI.
Stash houses are where traffickers hide and hold smuggled people and drugs. In the context of America’s ongoing immigration crisis, they’ve been known for terrible conditions and ransom situations.
“Quite often what will happen is somebody may have a cellphone and because the conditions are so bad they will call 911, and that’s how we are able to uncover some of these ‘stash houses,'” Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz told CBS during a June 2018 ride-along.
Earlier this year, authorities in Houston arrested five men in connection with a stash house where 18 migrants were held for ransom. “Our investigation determined that women were held captive and sexually assaulted for 25 days,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at the time of the arrests.