Nearly 30 people freed from alleged human smuggling operation in Houston


HOUSTON (CNN) - Police have rescued nearly 30 people from a suspected smuggling operation.

Law enforcement was responding to a kidnapping call in southwest Houston on Thursday when they saw a man running down the street looking for help.

The man said he escaped from a home where he was being held against his will.

A man was arrested at the site of a suspected human smuggling operation. Nearly 30 people were found in a home after a man who said he was being held against his will escaped.
A man was arrested at the site of a suspected human smuggling operation. Nearly 30 people were found in a home after a man who said he was being held against his will escaped. (Source: KTRK/CNN)

Officers went to investigate and found the windows boarded up and the doors locked. Inside, they found nearly 30 people. Some of them could have been there for up to seven days.

Investigators say the victims came from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Cuba.

Possible suspects are in custody, but police are waiting on immigration officials to begin their investigation.

“So, what I think the suspects did was undressed and they hid among the other people. And so we pulled out the ones who looked clean, who still had their jewelry. Most people were dirty and didn’t have jewelry on. These few people did,” Lt. Jose Torres said.

“I’ve seen, actually, the guy who lives there or maybe stays there. Come in and out of the house multiple times and see him get in the gray truck right there. And he just seems like a normal person, normal dude, normal clothes. Nothing seemed peculiar about him,” Alexander Bernal said.

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