Law enforcement officials investigate the site of a human smuggling case, where more than 90 undocumented immigrants were found inside a home on the 12200 block of Chessington Drive on Friday, April 30, 2021, in Houston. A Houston Police officials said the case will be handled by federal authorities. ( Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
UPDATED 3:45 PM PT – Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Five people face federal charges in an alleged human smuggling operation in Houston. On Monday, the DOJ announced the charges after Houston Police recently found nearly 100 illegal immigrants held in a house.
Authorities said the migrants were locked in two separate rooms of the residence and dressed only in their undergarments. Police added, there was a possible COVID-19 outbreak among the group.
“We are in a pandemic and we do have some people in the house that are symptomatic,” Assistant Houston Police Chief D.B. Edwards stated. “So, we’ve already had some people in the house tell us they’re not able to smell and not able to taste. And we did have some people with fever. So we’ve got the Health Department going to do some rapid testing and kind of take it from there.”
The suspects face federal smuggling charges. If convicted, each suspect faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.