HOUSTON Dozens of suspected illegal immigrants found in a south Houston stash house were assaulted, groped and terrorized by the smugglers holding them against their will, even after forking over thousands of dollars to be brought to America, according to court documents.
More than 100 men, women and children were forced to live in deplorable conditions at a home in the 14700 block of Almeda School Road.
The Houston Police Department received a call regarding a possible kidnapping of a Hispanic woman and her two children on March 19. A relative told investigators that she paid a smuggler $15,000 to transport the woman and the kids to Chicago, but someone called her from Houston saying she needed to pay an additional $13,000 or they would make her family disappear and make her family pay.
Investigators obtained search warrants for the victim s family and the suspects telephone numbers, which led them to the target house on Almeda School Road. They set up surveillance, then saw two men and two women exit the home and drive off in a red Ford Mustang. A marked police vehicle pulled them over for a traffic stop along the Sam Houston Parkway. An officer noticed the grip of a semi-automatic handgun protruding from beneath the front passenger seat. Officers detained the occupants and recovered two handguns from the car.
When the officers who were still conducting surveillance of the residence learned of the handguns, they decided to approach the house in order to conduct a health and welfare check.
Authorities said what they found was awful.
There is no hot water in the house. There is a toilet that partially works one bathroom for in excess of 100 people, said HPD spokesman John Cannon.
Police said there was human waste all over the place, and about 250 chickens living inside the house as well.
The victims included a 24-year-old pregnant woman and her two children, ages 5 and 7. Her family initially made the call to police.
The children were scared, said Noland Luke, a neighbor. They brought them out, they crying and carrying on. Feel sorry for them.
Police said it was one of the largest stash houses they ve ever seen.
Deadbolt locks on the inside doors kept the victims from being able to leave the one-story home.
The hostages -- 94 adult males, 14 adult females and the two children were turned over to the custody of ICE.
Jose Aviles-Villa, Jonathan Solorzano-Tavila, Antonio Barruquet-Hildibert, Jose Cesmas-Borja and Eugenio Sesmas-Borja were all taken into custody and charged. Charging documents said they knowingly combined, conspired, confederated and agreed with at least one other person to seize and detain and threatened to continue to seize and detain individuals who were not nationals of the Unites States in order to compel third persons to pay a sum of money for the release of the detainees.
In simpler terms, they allegedly were coyotes holding the illegal immigrants against their will until someone would pay extra money for their release.
The suspects who were paid to guard the detainees admitted they would use a wooden paddle, a taser and a firearm as intimidation to prevent them from running away, according to court documents.
The suspects allegedly admitted they would force the detainees to take off their clothes and shoes and lock them in a closet. The victims said that one of the suspects, Borja Sesmas, even groped the female captives and often times they were kicked and abused.