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Five charged after nearly 100 people were found in their Houston home in alleged smuggling operation

Five people have been charged after 97 migrants were found at a Houston home on Friday in what authorities consider a smuggling operation, federal prosecutors said on Monday.

The five people indicted on Saturday by a criminal complaint live illegally in the county, the South Texas District Attorney’s Office said. They come from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.

Houston Police were investigating a report of a possible kidnapping on Friday and found 97 people, none of whom are authorized to be in the United States, inside the two-story home, said responsible.

They were in two rooms and there were deadbolts on the doors to prevent any escape, federal prosecutors said.

More than 90 people have been found in a house in southwest Houston, and Houston police say they suspect human trafficking on April 30, 2021.KPRC

Marina Garcia-Diaz, 22; Henry Licona-Larios, 31 years old; Kevin Licona-Lopez, 25; Marco Baca-Perez, 30 years old; and Marcelo Garcia-Palacios, 21, face a count each of migrants hosted in the United States, according to court records online. They are all in detention.

The house where they were being kept has been described in court documents as a “hiding place”.

A person who called Houston Police and reported an abduction on Friday said he paid $ 11,000 to smuggle a relative into the United States from Honduras, but was then asked to pay thousands more for that the parent be released, according to a criminal complaint.

This person was told that if they didn’t pay the parent would be killed, according to the complaint, and the person called Houston Police.

At least one person inside the house has been told that if the money was not paid it would be in “four pieces of wood,” meaning a coffin, according to court documents.

Lawyers listed as representing those charged did not immediately return requests for comment on Monday evening or declined to comment.

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