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IMMIGRANTS LEFT WITH LITTLE FOOD OR WATER FOR OVER A WEEK…
Pearsall police have arrested a local man in connection with a human smuggling operation after an investigation led to the discovery of five undocumented immigrants in a hotel room.
Police say they were dispatched to a hotel that sits along Interstate 35 on Monday, December 12 after reports were made regarding two undocumented immigrants running from a hotel room.
“This hotel has been under investigation for trafficking of illegal narcotics and human smuggling,” Police Captain Michael Guerrero said.
Investigating officers questioned 21-year-old Junior Nash, who according to officers was non-compliant.
During a search of the room, officers located five undocumented immigrants, two of which were juveniles, hidden under clothes, blankets and in the bathtub.
According to a report on the case, officers learned during interviews with the immigrants that they had been held up in the hotel room for over a week and were given very little to eat or drink.
“They were thirsty and hungry,” the police captain said. “They also told us they were ordered to hand over their wallets and cellphones. The victims told officers the smugglers called their families and demanded money for their release.”
Further investigation has led to the identity of several local individuals who are allegedly involved in the human smuggling ring.
“We are charging the individual who rented the room with five additional charges for operating a stash house,” Guerrero said.
According to records filed at the Frio County Jail, Nash remains in custody on five third-degree felonies for smuggling of a person; each charge has a $40,000 bond.