Deputies in Bexar County, Texas raided a home involved with human smuggling, making several arrests and rescuing victims.
Bexar County authorities have reported that they uncovered a house involved with suspected stolen vehicles that were being used for a smuggling operation.
The bust took place at three locations, including a stash house located at 11290 Briggs Road. According to Sheriff Javier Salazar, the house had been under surveillance because of recent violence that had been taking place in the area.
“Couple of weeks back we investigated a run and gun battle between two vehicles,” Salazar said. “One vehicle rammed the other, just crazy stuff we are not used to seeing out there.”
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Organized Crime Unit was keeping a close eye on the area, and finally got their chance to step in, stopping an 18-wheeler and several other vehicles in what deputies believed to be a human smuggling event.
According to Sheriff Salazar, the bust was successful. The deputies discovered several human smuggling victims, including female illegal immigrants ranging in age from late teens to their 30s. The victims appeared to be in good health, the sheriff reported.
“Some of the understanding that we have is what is that some of these people were being smuggled up as far as New York,” Sheriff Salazar said.
Officials from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office detained 24 people in the bust, nine of whom were reportedly smuggling suspects, according to reporting by local news outlet KENS5.
The sheriff also reported that deputies stopped five vehicles leaving the location, including an 18-wheeler. Approximately $60,000 in cash was also seized during the bust.
The stash house was also reportedly being used to gut stolen cars. Deputies also discovered a saint inside that made the sheriff believe that something bigger was happening.
“Thee was a pretty sizeable altar of ‘Santa Muerte,’ which is the patron which is considered to be the patron saint of drug smugglers,” Salazar said. “So, that leads us to believe this isn’t just a human smuggling operation, this is drug smuggling operation as well.”