UPDATED 3:45 PM PT – Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Five people face federal charges in an alleged human smuggling operation in Houston. On Monday, the DOJ announced the charges after Houston Police recently found nearly 100 illegal immigrants held in a house.
Authorities said the migrants were locked in two separate rooms of the residence and dressed only in their undergarments. Police added, there was a possible COVID-19 outbreak among the group.
“We are in a pandemic and we do have some people in the house that are symptomatic,” Assistant Houston Police Chief D.B. Edwards stated. “So, we’ve already had some people in the house tell us they’re not able to smell and not able to taste. And we did have some people with fever. So we’ve got the Health Department going to do some rapid testing and kind of take it from there.”
The suspects face federal smuggling charges. If convicted, each suspect faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.