ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) - Two men from Guatemala were rescued from a home in BastropCounty on Wednesday. The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office was tippedoff by a third Guatamalan man who snuck out of the home in Elgin.He said they were being held against their will by men whosmuggled them into the country.
In addition to the
Four men were arrested at
The hostages told officials the people holding them hadthreatened bodily harm if they tried to leave.
The suspects had reportedly called the victims' family inGuatemala and demanded more money for the release of the men.
The house reportedly had air conditioning, and the victims weregetting small amounts of water and being fed Ramen Noodles. Thehome was a rental house, and the home's owner, Linda Massengale,said the person who had rented it had been there two to threemonths.
She said she was shocked when agents came to her front door,because she had never noticed anything strange.
Authorities said that they learned ten more illegal immigrantshad apparently been living at the residence, but had been removedon Tuesday to an unknown location before the arrests, officialssaid.
“Instances of human trafficking and human smuggling haveevolved into a very profitable industry and are becoming asignificant problem in the area. It is not uncommon for smuggledpeople to be subjected to physical and sexual abuse while beingheld hostage in exchange for additional smuggling fees," saidSheriff Terry Pickering in a statement released to the media.
A similar bust happened in July 2009 in Bastrop. In that case,two dozen illegal immigrants were smuggled across the border,beaten and held at gunpoint in a mobile home. Those immigrants werefrom El Salvador and Honduras.
The Bastrop investigation is ongoing as ICE agents work toidentify all persons involved in the human smuggling ring.
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