Human ‘Stash House’ Busted in Southwestern US, 54 People Found Living in Squalor

An El Paso, Texas, stash house where human traffickers hid illegal immigrants was raided recently, with authorities discovering more than 50 illegal immigrants living there.

The Border Patrol’s Santa Teresa Anti-Smuggling Unit, the Border Patrol’s Integrated Targeting Team, and troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety participated in the raid, according to KTSM-TV.

Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Anthony Good said on Twitter that authorities “encountered 54 migrants inside a local stash house living in deplorable conditions. 6 migrants were found to have prior removal orders and will be prosecuted accordingly.”

Stash houses are not uncommon. Last month, the Border Patrol raided two locations near El Paso, according to a Customs and Border Protection release in April.

In one raid, 51 illegal immigrants were discovered. The illegal immigrants had come from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The release said two so-called caretakers were arrested and face charges connected with human smuggling.

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In the second raid from early April, 94 illegal immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico and Ecuador were found in a stash house.

Because Title 42 was still in effect during April, all illegal immigrants found in those raids were deported.

The release said that during federal Fiscal Year 2023, agents in the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector found 130 stash houses with over 1,800 illegal immigrants.

“The citizens in our local El Paso community provide an important partnership to help us safeguard our city. We encourage anyone with information to report suspicious activity to our office. That one phone call could help save many lives,” Good said.

In April, a stash house in Socorro, Texas, was linked with sex trafficking, according to the El Paso Times.

“Preliminary information suggests that a large number of unaccompanied and younger aged females located have been the target of sex trafficking and were treated by emergency medical services on the scene,” a news release said.

In August, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that the Texas Stash House Program exists to encourage reports of these human smuggling operations, according to a news release.

“These stash houses contain people or drugs that may have otherwise made their way across Texas and the nation because of the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border. With the help of Texans across the state, we can bring criminals to justice, destroy their illegal enterprises, and keep our communities safe,” Abbott said.

The release said that from March 2021 through August 2022, more than 170 stash houses had been found, containing more than over 1,900 illegal immigrants.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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