Guatemalan migrants found tied up, held for ransom in Houston area home
Police believe that the house was used as a stash house by human traffickers, known as “coyotes,” to smuggle migrants into the country
May 12, 2023 8:41am
Updated: May 12, 2023 8:41am
Several Guatemalan migrants were found tied up and held against their will for ransom by smugglers in a Texas stash house, according to authorities.
Deputies with the Pct. 1 Constable Rosen’s Office responded to a Houston area home on the 2700 block of Morgensen Drive after a man reported that someone kicked in the door of a house in the subdivision.
When they arrived, two individuals fled the home in an SUV, while two others fled on foot. Upon entering the home, the officers found seven migrants from Guatemala tied up. There was nothing inside the home except for pillows and blankets.
Police believe that the house was used as a stash house by human traffickers, known as “coyotes,” to smuggle migrants into the country. Deputies said that the suspects were holding the migrants hostage until they received money from their family or friends for their release.
The migrants were taken for a medical examination and provided with food and water. Investigators said the migrants were hungry and their feet and legs were bruised from making the treacherous journey across the birder.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is launching an investigation into the incident and is looking for the suspects.
Several of the residents in the neighborhood said they had noticed something suspicious going on in the house. Other neighbors said they thought it might have been a smuggling operation but didn’t look too much into it out of fear that something could happen to them.
"I thought it may have been a drug house. I wasn't sure, but I kept my distance," said one neighbor who lives on Morgensen Drive. "I stayed over here. I mind my business, and they stayed over there. I never spoke. He never spoke."