On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents were tipped off about the location of a possible stash house in Laredo, Texas. CBP agents followed the lead, "conducted surveillance on the house and performed a knock and talk," according to a statement put out by CBP.
Inside the stash house, twelve illegal immigrants were discovered. The individuals unlawfully present in the U.S. were determined to be from the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. The statement noted that all the illegal immigrants discovered inside the house were found to be in good health. The twelve aliens were arrested pending further investigation. CBP referred the case to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Human traffickers often use stash houses to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States. In Mar. 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents discovered 67 illegal aliens hidden inside a small shed in New Mexico. HSI Special Agent Jack Staton described the conditions inside the shed as "deplorable."
“As the deplorable conditions of this stash house demonstrate, transnational criminal organizations have no respect for human life,” Staton said. "Human smuggling is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, and the individuals being smuggled are viewed as cargo by the criminal networks. HSI continues to investigate this organization and will hold them accountable for their illicit activities.”