Joint law enforcement effort shuts down stash house, more than 100 illegal migrants inside

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

A joint law enforcement effort by the Laredo Sector Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and Laredo Police Department led to over 100 illegal migrants being rescued from a stash house. Stash houses are a harsh reality of the Biden border crisis. Human beings are trafficked across the southern border and warehoused in houses until their families pay a ransom or they are moved further into the country.


This is the latest story to hit the news of a stash house raid. A video was released as law enforcement shut down the operation shows more than 100 migrants being taken into custody. Conditions in the house were described as “inhumane”. You can see the interior of the house is grim.

In a statement released by U.S. Border Patrol, the law enforcement agency points out that the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped the use of stash houses. This means that not only is human trafficking a humanitarian crisis, but it is also a public health crisis.

The incident occurred during the morning of June 10 when over 100 undocumented individuals were found inside the alleged stash house. The individuals were identified as nationals of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Nicaragua.

All the undocumented individuals were taken into custody for further investigation. None of the individuals were wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE) and all were medically screened.

The smuggling and housing of large groups of individuals in stash houses have not been deterred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Stash house incidents such as this pose a threat not only to the people exploited by human smuggling but also to the people and safety of our Nation.


The human traffickers don’t care about the people they are moving across the border, this is strictly a financial arrangement for them. Joe Biden and his supporters who speak about undoing the Trump administration’s border policies don’t want the consequences of their rhetoric to be exposed. Stash houses are nothing new, they have been around for a long time and several administrations, but with the dramatic escalation of migrants crossing the border every day, stash houses have increased in demand for coyotes and smugglers. This case was noteworthy due to the large number of migrants being warehoused in one stash house.

“Typically, when agents discover stash houses the aliens are crammed in pretty deplorable conditions. There’s no bedding. There’s limited supplies, no air conditioning, limited food and water, and the aliens could be in those conditions for days or weeks sometimes,” said Dustin Araujo, assistant chief patrol agent for the RGV Sector.

Speaking with Border Report on Wednesday from the sector headquarters in Edinburg, Texas, Araujo said agents have found migrants of all ages — ranging from children to the elderly, men and women — and sometimes they are the victims of abuse and sexual assaults.

“The smugglers do not care about the people they are housing. They’re not going to pay extra money to make it any type of comfort at all,” Araujo said. “The smugglers have them controlled in that environment until they’re ready to move them along.”


Stash houses are found in all types of neighborhoods now. It isn’t just sketchy parts of town, they are also discovered in middle-class neighborhoods. In May a stash house was raided in a quiet subdivision in Houston, a typical middle-class neighborhood by anyone’s standards. Another unusual part of this stash house story, besides the number of migrants involved, is that it is reported to be a mix of migrants – men, women, and children. Generally speaking, stash houses warehouse migrant adult men with adult women a rarer occurrence. In the Houston story referenced, for example, it involved 97 illegal migrants. All were men except for 5 women.

Just as there is no end in sight for the flood of migrants crossing the southern border, there is no end in sight for the use of stash houses. Earlier this month, Laredo Sector Border Patrol arrested 182 undocumented individuals from three stash houses that officials found within a 2-hour span.

The joint operation of law enforcement with Homeland Security netted 216 illegal migrants from a total of five stash houses last Monday and Tuesday.


Data provided by the Laredo Sector Border Patrol to shows 3,998 migrants were arrested at 189 stash houses from October 1, 2020 to June 9
In comparison, the sector took 464 migrants into custody after raiding 46 homes between October 1, 2019 and September 31, 2020.

This is happening all around the Rio Grande Valley, as well as moving further north into cities like Houston. If it is happening on the Texas border, you can bet it is happening in other border states, too. The numbers are skyrocketing. The threat to public health and safety is coming to all kinds of neighborhoods.

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