HOUSTON, Texas – Houston police officers rescued a dozen illegal aliens, including an underage girl, from what was nearly a certain death situation. The smugglers locked the 12 individuals in the cargo area of a truck in the afternoon Texas heat.
Police officers arrived on the scene to find that human smugglers had locked 12 illegal immigrants in the cargo area of a Penske rental box truck on Houston’s southwest side. The temperature inside the cargo bay was in excess of 100 degrees, according to a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from the Harris County District Attorney’s office.
“There is no good season for human trafficking, but summer time in Houston has to be the worst,” Harris County First Assistant District Attorney Tom Berg said in the written statement.
Officials stated the migrants told them they had been banging on the walls of the trucks for hours to get someone to release them. The area where the truck was found on Sunday afternoon is a largely commercial district.
Rescuers arrived just in time to prevent their deaths, Texas prosecutors stated. “Thirty more minutes and this could have been a dozen homicide cases,” Berg stated. “The quick action of the Houston Police is commendable.”
Police turned the 12 illegal immigrants over to ICE officers for processing, spokesman Greg Palmore told the Houston Chronicle. He stated the 10 men, one woman, and an underage girl came to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. They reportedly entered the U.S. illegally without documentation.
The district attorney’s office stated that video cameras of the area showed the truck being parked throughout the day as outside temperatures climbed well into the 90-degree range.
“They had been closed up inside, where temperatures were in excess of 100 degrees,” officials stated. “They were soaked in sweat, exhausted, and had been banging on the walls of the truck for hours for someone to let them out.”
Police arrested Priscila Perez Beltran, 21; Nelson Cortes Garcia, 27; and Adela Alvarez, 26, all reportedly non-U.S. citizens, on a variety of state human smuggling-related charges. The charges are enhanced due to the “substantial likelihood of bodily injury or death” of those being smuggled, and the underage status of one of the females. Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed that Alvarez is a Salvadoran female and has a tattoo on her left arm. She has no prior criminal history in Harris County.