San Juan police crackdown on stash houses
Mon, 27 May 2013 04:38:08 GMT —
In 2012, San Juan police raided 20 stash houses filled with undocumented immigrants.
In 2013 they've already responded to 17 alleged stash homes.
Police have seen an increase in people being smuggled into the United States and placed in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Sunday police prepared to raid home number 18.
"You can see this little crevice and the people try their best to hide from us and they made their way underneath here," Sgt. Rolando Garcia explained.
Boarded windows and tall grass are prime examples of what San Juan police are looking for.
"This place back here is where they were using the restroom you can see the water bottles still filled with urine," he said.
Police prepare for every scenario that might pop up.
"You are going to have to put someone here on Nadia and Gardenia and have them go into the field."
Police tell Action 4 News they never know how many people might actually be inside or what their reaction will be when law enforcement storms in.
During this raid police expected about 80 undocumented immigrants hiding in a 2 story home.
Police must act quick.
Sgt. Garcia said smugglers are constantly moving.
He said the home shows all the signs of holding undocumented immigrants.
Unfortunately turned up nothing for police .
"Any time you have this kind of location within the city you may see a spike in burglaries you may see a spike in calls that may tie down our officers as well as calls as females being held against their will and being sexually assaulted while at these locations by either the coyotes themselves or the scouts," Sgt. Garcia said.
San Juan police are currently working with immigration and customs enforcement on a case involving a woman alleging she was raped by a scout.
This is the type of crime these officers are trying to prevent.
Police want to make it clear that they are not raiding the stash homes to find undocumented immigrants.
They are targeting and focusing their search in finding the smugglers and.
Focusing on the criminal group breaking the drug and stash house networks itself and help potential victims of crimes.