A human smuggling operation was busted in Phoenix which resulted in at least 30 illegal immigrants being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a raid on March 27.
The more than 30 suspects were detained by federal agents Tuesday evening at a south Phoenix home, located in the gated community near 13th Place and Baseline Road, according to law enforcement officials in local reports.
According to Lauren Mack, an ICE spokeswoman, agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations responded to suspected human smuggling activity at a house in South Phoenix and detained at least 30 on immigration administrative charges in conjunction with an investigation. Law enforcement sources who spoke to Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity said those detained were believed to be in the U.S. illegally and found in what is known as a “drop house” until they could be transported to their destinations throughout the United States.
Video from local news helicopters showed at least 32 people detained, sitting on the driveway of the Phoenix home inside a gated community.
Due to its proximity to the southern border with Mexico, Phoenix has always been a hub for human smuggling operations by illegal alien criminals. During the early 2000s, Phoenix experienced a crisis that was known as the “super drop houses.” At the time, 160 and 180 illegal immigrants were busted within weeks of each other. With the “super drop houses,” the associated organized crime violence appeared in the form of armed robberies, kidnapping for ransom, and murder.
Due to the violence that was experienced during this period, the Phoenix Police Department was forced to form a specialized unit with the assistance of federal law enforcement assets.
Smugglers will often obtain a residence from unsuspecting homeowners through a straw renter and quickly leave to avoid detection from law enforcement. These properties will often sustain heavy damage in the process.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)