Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas state that Marcos Antonio Zamorano was arrested in south Texas, after police discovered a human stash house containing seven illegal immigrants. He has officially been charged with one count of human smuggling, according to a recent report by The Monitor.
Police made their way to the property on May 12, after receiving a 9-11 call about illegal aliens being held against their will inside a home located in Weslaco.
The seven foreign nationals who were held in the home, all of whom were from Mexico or Central America, identified Zamorano as their captor and alleged abuse.
A criminal complaint stated, “Zamorano has been smuggling illegal aliens for approximately six months and in that time he has harbored/transported approximately 68 illegal aliens. According to the court document, the seven discovered hostages alleged that Zamorano tortured and abused them.
One Guatemalan hostage, Grecia Lopez Chavez, allegedly told Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents that during the 25 days she was held in the home, Zamorano sometimes starved her. Chavez also claimed that Zamorano’s girlfriend, only identified in court documents as “S.M.,” helped Zamorano run the stash house. S.M. allegedly demanded that Chavez’s family pay $3,000–if the payment was not made, S.M. threatened to cut off Chavez’s fingers and then force her to eat them.
Several of the other hostages claimed that they were tied up and threatened with amputations or death if their families failed to produce a $3,000 payment.
During an interview with authorities Zamorano allegedly claimed that he worked for a smuggler in Reynosa, Mexico named “Lolita.” He further stated that he received a $150 profit from each of the seven hostages he was holding at the time of the bust.
Zamorano apparently called family members of the hostages several, demanding money.
“If you don’t deposit the money, they’re not going to leave,” Zamorano threatened family members, according to the complaint. “Zamorano paid money couriers $100 to pick up smuggling fees from Money Gram and West Union which were generally in the amounts of $2,000,” the court document stated.
This incident is only the latest in a string of stash houses busted near the Texas/Mexican border this year.
In many cases, Border Patrol agents save the lives of illegal immigrants being held hostage by other illegal immigrants.
Earlier in May, Breitbart Texas reported on a stash house discovered in Pharr, Texas, near the Mexican border. In that case, three captors, two of whom were in the U.S. illegally, were accused of beating and the victims and extorting their families for money.
According to court documents, one material witness claimed that the suspects “slapped him around, tied him up with a green and white robe, threatened him with a knife, cut his hair, threatened to cut off his genitals, put a cloth in his mouth and attempted to sexually molest him if his family members did not pay $4,500 for his release.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.