Oscar Luis-Ramos and Edgar Porras-Quiroz, both Mexican nationals, were arrested for allegedly running a stash house in Edinburg, Texas. 74 undocumented individuals were discovered in the residence, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Porras-Quiroz said in a post-Miranda interview that he rented the residence, listed at $450 per month, on March 1 with the intention of harboring illegal immigrants there, according to court filings. The complaint states that Porras-Quiroz hired Luis-Ramos to be the stash house’s caretaker. Luis-Ramos provided the immigrants with food and kept a spiral-bound notebook, in which he kept track of the illegal immigrants entering and leaving the home, according to testimony.
Since March 1, an alleged 90 illegal immigrants passed through the residence. Illegal immigrant smuggling groups would pay Porras-Quiroz “25 a head” for each smuggled individual, according to the complaint.
The McAllen Monitor reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is currently handling the uncovered immigrants and processing them “for removal.”
Robert Miljenovich, a Sergeant with the Austin Police Department Human Trafficking and Vice Unit, frequently deals with Texas-based human stash houses. He told Breitbart Texas in a related interview that such cases are frequently dealt with in the state.
“It is not uncommon for us to recover high numbers of people in one [residence]–this is not an uncommon occurrence, these stash houses are all over the place,” he said. “We’ve gotten 20 or 30 people out of trailers before.”
Agent Greg Palmore of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also told Breitbart Texas that stash house busts are “pretty frequent” in the state.
The incident in Edinburg is just the most recent in a string of human stash house discoveries in Texas.
Earlier in March 2014, five individuals were arrested for allegedly detaining 115 foreign nationals against their will in a Houston residence, according to previous Breitbart Texas reports. The criminal complaint in the case alleges the defendants “detained and threatened” hostages to extort money.
Agent Palmore told Breitbart Texas that the case marks the largest human stash house he has ever seen during his seven years on the job.
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