MCALLEN, Texas — Authorities at the Texas border have busted a human smuggling cell connected to Mexican drug cartels that appears to be responsible for smuggling hundreds of illegal aliens. During the investigation, authorities arrested approximately 70 illegal aliens who were being housed in two separate stash houses. Evidence suggests that some of the women may have been violated.
Stash houses are a term used to describe rental houses or abandoned structures that human smugglers use to hide illegal aliens after they cross the Rio Grande until they are able to move have them circumvent U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints north of the border.
According to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas, authorities raided a human stash house in late October. 33 illegal aliens were found inside. While questioning the ringleader of that group, a man named Manuel de Jesus “Chuy” Rodriguez Loa, they learned that his boss, Pedro “Jalisco” Flores Villanueva had another house with close to 40 people in the border city of Edinburg. The man also said that Jalisco was in charge of several other stash houses in the area.
Border Patrol agents working with their local counterparts were able to track down Flores and pull him over for making a turn without signaling.
During that traffic stop, agents arrested Flores and questioned him about two of his stash houses. Authorities also arrested his assistant Jose Luz Alfredo “Guero” Barco and a woman who had just been smuggled. Inside the vehicle agents found cash and a ledger with the information of the people in the houses. The man gave permission to go into his houses where more arrests were carried out.
During questioning by agents, Flores told them he had crossed the Rio Grande illegally from Reynosa using a raft in September and had begun to work for a human smuggling organization that operated in Edinburg. Flores identified his fellow smugglers as “Chuy”, La Gata, El Raton, Alejandro “Tiburon” Torres Sanchez, Carlos “Kangrejo” Villa Garcia and Martin “La Perra” Moreno Serrano. Most of the men have not been arrested and authorities have not yet been able to identify “La Gata” and “El Raton.”
Tiburon alone would transport about 35 illegal aliens per week for Flores, court records revealed.
Records show that agents interviewed various women who were being held at the stash houses and while the documents do not make it clear, they point to a possible sexual abuse of the women.
One of the women who is form Honduras said she was going to pay $2,000 to be illegally smuggled and crossed on October 21 along with 15 other illegal aliens. Once across the woman was taken to a stash house run by Flores, however on one night “El Guero” took her to a motel. Court records do not specify if the woman was sexually abused or coerced into sexual intercourse but she told agents that she was not mistreated.