Cops Find 'Sea of People' Held Hostage in Texas Home
Smugglers held more than 100 inside squalid Houston 'stash house'
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2014 7:04 AM CDT
People wait outside a house as authorities hold an investigation, Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in southeast Houston.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Cody Duty)

(Newser) – Police staking out a squalid Houston home have uncovered the city's largest stash house in recent years, and it's pretty grim: The building was covered in human waste, had no hot water, and just one partially-working toilet for the more than 100 people held hostage inside. After a tip that human smugglers were demanding more money of a woman they helped bring across the border from Mexico, along with her two children, police entered the home yesterday to find a "sea of people coming at the officers as they entered," a police rep tells the Houston Chronicle. Among the "hungry, thirsty, and exhausted" hostages—some had been held there for more than two weeks—were 94 men, 14 women, and two children, aged 5 and 7.

"The smell and conditions were just awful," the police rep continues, describing "bodies upon bodies, people stacked on top of each other. Dirty, filthy, conditions," per KPRC. Hostages were kept shoeless—to make it harder to run away—and males could only wear underwear. "This case demonstrates the human tragedy that occurs as a result of our broken borders," says Rep. Mike McCaul. "Last year over 100,000 people entered the United States illegally through Texas alone and the Department of Homeland Security has no plan to stop the flow." Five smugglers have been arrested, KHOU reports, while most of the hostages—believed to be from Central American countries—were sent to a detention facility to be examined; they are now likely to be deported, the Chronicle notes.

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Mar 30, 2014 7:02 PM CDT
What they are doing is an illegal act in this country. That doesn't make them 'illegal' as people. You remind me of my father throwing me out of his house screaming about my "illegitimate" baby. The baby wasn't illegitimate, it was a BABY.
Mar 30, 2014 9:14 AM CDT
I know the illegals are victims in this case, but paying someone $15,000 to smuggle them into the country, doesn't it make them somewhat complicitous? They know they're breaking the law and paying big bucks to do so, so they must surely be aware that the are breaking serious law, not just stealing candy bars. Its horrible what happened to them, but they should stick to obeying laws and they should be deported, don't feel sorry for them.
Mar 25, 2014 4:07 PM CDT
Five smugglers, one hundred people...??