“Mules” Arrested in Find
Federal agents have arrested four people accused of smuggling 131 illegal immigrants found at a "stash house" in south Texas, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said Wednesday.
The immigrants were also detained Tuesday after a raid at a house near Alton, Texas, about eight miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda said.
The people at the house were from Mexico and Central America, and did not require medical attention, she said.
The Monitor newspaper, which covers the Rio Grande Valley, said Salvador Hernandez, 52, had just left his house with his elderly parents when the normally quiet neighborhood was suddenly surrounded by ICE agents.
“I have been living here for 28 years and have never seen anything like that happen,” he told the paper.
Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley, which straddles the southern tip of Texas along the Gulf Coast, have seen the number of so-called "stash houses" used to house illegal immigrants roughly double since October 2011, according to agency figures.