A Texas woman is in jail after allegedly forcing migrants to remain in her home while she made them work to pay off debts owed to human smugglers. The incident came to light as one of the migrants attempted to escape from her home.
Police in Round Rock, Texas, received a call on June 22 from a woman reporting a burglary at her home. When police arrived they determined the woman was holding a Honduran migrant in her home and forcing him to work to pay off debts owed to human smugglers, according to a police affidavit reported by KVUE. The man reportedly owed a debt of $9,200 to smugglers who brought him from Mexico into Texas.
Police arrested Mariana Salgado, 48, and took her to the Williamson County Jail where she is being held on a charge of Smuggling of Persons. Bond is set for $7,500, according to jail records obtained by Breitbart Texas.
The Honduran migrant reportedly made arrangements with Salgado to be smuggled into Texas. The fee for the smuggling arrangement was $9,200, according to the affidavit. Salgado and her husband reportedly picked the migrant up in San Antonio and took them to their home in Round Rock — north of Austin in Central Texas.
Delgado allegedly told the man he was not allowed to leave until he finished paying off the debt. A girlfriend of the Honduran national reportedly paid $5,200 on his behalf. The man also worked by installing cabinets to earn $350. That money reportedly went directly to Salgado’s husband as a debt payment. The man earned approximately $120 per day for the work which went to repay the debt, KXAN reported.
Officials found three other migrants in the home who were also being forced to repay debts for human smuggling. All owed the same amount as the Honduran man — $9,200. Salgado reportedly paid the fee in advance to the coyotes who brought them into Texas from Mexico.
The Honduran man attempted to escape from his captivity on another occasion. At that time, people who allegedly worked for Salgado found him hiding by a convenience store and forced him into a vehicle. They returned the man to Salgado’s home.
Salgado also forced the migrants to turn over their identification documents which she held until the debts were paid, the affidavit explained.
A search of the home uncovered detailed records in a spiral notebook. The records tracked the debts and payments owed by the migrants.
The Honduran man told police he had been in the home for about a month. He said he slept in the living room. He said he owned nothing but his identification documents and two watches.
Salgado remains in custody on human smuggling charges.