Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'Suspicious man' leads police to drop house (KTAR-AZ)

'Suspicious man' leads police to drop house

May 13th, 2008 @ 7:46pm
by Courtesy of

Forty-two illegal immigrants and eight human smugglers were found Tuesday after an alert police officer followed a suspicious man to a house in west Phoenix, authorities said.

Dozens of illegal immigrants found in the house near 65th Avenue and Thomas Road were wearing nothing but shorts or underwear, said Sgt. Joel Tranter.

"That's typical of what we see in some drop houses that are run by coyotes," Tranter said. "Coyotes will actually threaten the occupants, keep them barefoot and therefore, in theory, they are less likely to flee. They are unable to run as easily from the house."

Detectives uncovered that 42 of the 50 people were being held against their will. Eight of the 50 were identified as the suspects who were controlling the others.

Out of the 42 individuals being held, one individual had been physically assaulted by the suspects to the point that required transport to an area hospital. Three were adult females and three juveniles. Males were reportedly stripped down to their underwear, which is done regularly by the suspects to keep them from escaping.

Tranter said everyone seemed to be in reasonably good health. One of the immigrants had to be transported to the hospital for medical treatment. "He complained of some kind of neck pain and medical distress, a non-life-threatening injury," Tranter said.

The case was turned over to the anti-human smuggling "impact" team.

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