Breitbart Texas has learned that a human stash house was busted by Border Patrol agents on May 10 in Heidelberg, a town close to the Mexican border in Hidalgo County, Texas.
Daniel Tirado, a spokesman for Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector, told Breitbart Texas that 31 illegal immigrants were apprehended inside the home. To Tirado’s knowledge, no narcotics or weapons were found inside.
“We got a call from the local sheriff’s department asking for assistance,” Tirado said. “They received a 9-11 call that was disconnected. They were able to identify the origin of that call and it came back to the residence on the 11000 block of Palm Grove in Heidelberg.”
He added that the home was near a popular outlet mall.
No smuggler or leader was identified at the home. It is possible that such individuals fled the scene before authorities showed up.
Tirado said that the fate of the apprehended illegal immigrants will “depend on each individual. Each case in different, so each case is treated differently. Just because they were being held against their will doesn’t mean that they didn’t end up there on their free will.”
Border Patrol agents bust human stash houses on a relatively frequent basis in Texas.
“Stash locations are pretty common,” Tirado said. “But we aren’t always talking about an actual house. It could be out in the brush, it could be in a storage facility, it could be in a warehouse.”
In many human stash house situations, smuggled-in illegal immigrants are often held in stash houses because they owe smugglers money before being transported to their final destination.
Breitbart Texas has reported on numerous human stash house busts in the state so far this year.
One such house,
Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon told Breitbart Texas that at the scene, officers found “a sea of people, some sitting on top of each other” inside the small home, which had boards on the windows and deadbolts on the doors.
The defendants involved in the case each face 15 years in federal prison. Those who are not U.S. citizens will likely be deported from the country after serving time.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.