McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Three men from El Salvador have been charged with harboring illegal immigrants after federal agents found them guarding 50 people in a South Texas mobile home.
A detention hearing is scheduled Thursday in McAllen for Oscar Rosales-Torres, Jose Ferrufino-Cortez and Gustavo de Jesus Vasquez-Nerio. The three defendants, who deny the allegations, made their initial court appearances Monday.
Court documents indicate the trio used a pistol, a machete and a wooden paddle to threaten and intimidate the immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. Border Patrol agents were led to the McAllen home last Friday by an immigrant who escaped.
Immigrants at the home, who were detained pending verification of their status, said the men fed them and guarded the exit. Such stash houses are common staging areas in human smuggling.