Posted on March 6, 2006

Raid Finds 70 Illegal Immigrants in House

Jacob Adelman, AP, March 3, 2006

Authorities raided a squalid house Friday, capturing 70 illegal immigrants and four suspected smugglers believed to have been holding migrants hostage while awaiting payment.

Federal agents and a sheriff’s SWAT team entered the home before dawn, setting off flash-bang grenades to stun any smugglers inside.

Packed into the grimy one-story bungalow were 70 people from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Mexico. Some slept 20 to a room, authorities said.

“It was squalor, absolute squalor. Bug infestations, trash on the floor,” said Frank Johnston, an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.