Authorities are investigating a human smuggling operation after a group of starving illegal immigrants was detained while begging for food.
La Joya police detained nine illegal immigrants off 11th and Garza Streets on Monday morning.
Neighbors told police that at least 15 illegal immigrants were going door to door asking for food.
The immigrants, who were from Mexico and Central America, told police that they had not eaten in two days and had been waiting for their smuggler.
Police said a chase was reported in the same neighborhood late Sunday night.
Authorities ended the chase in Donna where police stopped chasing the suspect and he got away.
Investigators now believe that chase suspect might have been the group's smuggler.
The immigrants were turned over to Border Patrol custody.