Edinburg stash house suspects identified
Fri, 13 Sep 2013 20:33:54 GMT —
An investigation into an Edinburg home with 147 undocumented immigrants crammed inside has lead five arrests.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested five Mexican national as suspected stash house operators and smugglers: Maria Luisa Mendoza-Palominos Jose Antonio Verjan-Montano Mauricio Garfias-Chaires Erasmo Hernandez-Espinosa Martin Gomez-Villa
It all started when officials stopped a black Ford Expedition after failing to do a traffic stop westbound on Russell Road Monday afternoon.
They noticed several individuals enter the Expedition from a Ford GMC driven by Gomez " Villa.
Authorities questioned a female passenger after seeing numerous people in the vehicle.
The passenger of the Ford Expedition gave the investigator a tip about a house where around 100 people were there with four subjects harboring undocumented immigrants.
The Border Patrol TMs Fraud, Intelligence, Smuggling and Terrorism (FIST) team approached the home off Juan and Efrain Streets after keeping it under surveillance.
FIST agents told Action 4 News that several vehicles were seen approaching and leaving the house.
Border Patrol regional spokesman Henry Mendiola told Action 4 News earlier this week that the agents conducted a consensual search of the home at 6 p.m. Monday.
According to FIST agents, an unidentified man opened the door and they found 147 undocumented immigrants inside.
Authorities found ammunition and guns in a closet in the home.
Martin Gomez-Villa was determined the smuggler for the stash house after everyone was transported to the Weslaco Border Patrol Station.
All five suspects appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby in McAllen on Wednesday where there all denied bond until a Monday afternoon hearing.