Smuggling operation suspected after 90 found in Texas home


Paramedics transport a man into an ambulance from the scene of a human smuggling case, where more than 90 undocumented immigrants were found inside a home on the 12200 block of Chessington Drive, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Houston. A Houston Police official said the case will be handled by federal authorities and that some of the people inside the house were exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. ( Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — More than 90 people were found in a house in southwestern Houston that investigators suspect was part of a human smuggling operation, police said Friday.

Authorities initially served a search warrant at the house after someone called police Thursday night to report a loved one was being held there, said Assistant Police Chief Daryn Edwards.

A special-tactics team entered the house, Edwards said, and found a large, huddled group of adults — five women and the rest men. The individuals told authorities they had not eaten in a while.

“It was a big surprise when we got in the house and saw what we saw,” Edwards said.

Officers asked health officials to test the captives for coronavirus infections after some complained of possible COVID-19 symptoms, including fever and loss of smell and taste sensations, Edwards said. Anybody who tested positive would likely be quarantined, he said.

Police continued to investigate who rented the home and how the individuals ended up inside.

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