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Thread: CE investigating drophouse found in Mesa

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    CE investigating drophouse found in Mesa

    Daniel González, The Republic | 11:08 p.m. MST March 5, 2015

    Federal immigration enforcement officials are investigating a building in Mesa that was being used to house a large group of undocumented immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico recently smuggled across the border into the U.S.

    The drop house was found Wednesday following a chase involving Pinal County Sheriff's Office deputies and a truck with undocumented passengers, according to law enforcement authorities.

    An investigation by the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials determined that the vehicle was headed for a location in Mesa where ICE officials found 16 undocumented immigrants from Guatemala and four undocumented immigrants from Mexico.

    ICE officials said a 16-year-old was among that group.

    Five undocumented Guatemalans and one Mexican who were riding in the truck were also taken into custody.

    ICE officials declined to say whether the discovery of the drop house indicates a larger trend. This is the second drop house discovered by ICE this fiscal year, which started in October.

    Lydia Guzman, an immigrant advocate for the League of United Latin American Citizens, could not recall the last time she heard of a drop house being discovered in the Phoenix area.

    "My first reaction, was, 'Wow. We haven't had one of those in a while,'" Guzman said.

    In fiscal year 2009, ICE officials reported finding 174 drop houses in the Phoenix area. But the number has fallen sharply in recent years as illegal immigration along the southern border has fallen significantly and shifted from Arizona to Texas.

    Last fiscal year, only eight drop houses were found in the Phoenix area, according to ICE.

    Antonio Velasquez, president of Maya Chapin, an advocacy group in Phoenix for Guatemalan immigrants, said the undocumented Guatemalans likely traveled through Mexico and then crossed the border in Texas. From there, they were most likely driven by smugglers to the drop house in Mesa and were waiting to be transported to other western states, including Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington.

    "That is what we have been noticing is happening," he said.

    Velasquez said it is unlikely the Guatemalans intended to stay in the Phoenix area.

    There has been an uptick in illegal immigration recently along the southern border primarily driven by a surge in unaccompanied childen and families from Central America turning themselves into to Border Patrol agents along the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas.

    Last year, the Border Patrol apprehended 239,229 people from Central America along the southern border, an increase of 68 precent from the previous year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol statistics.

    The discovery of the drop house in Mesa began to unfold at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday when PCSO deputies attempted to stop a truck traveling east on Interstate 8 near Stanfield. The vehicle failed to stop and began traveling at a high rate of speed, according to Tim Gaffney, a spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

    Gaffney said the truck crossed the median and westbound lanes of the interstate before driving off the road into the desert. The vehicle then jumped an irrigation canal and became disabled.

    Approximately 10 people fled from the truck. PCSO deputies and Border Patrol agents were able to find nine of the occupants.

    ICE officials said five of the passengers were undocumented immigrants from Guatemala and the suspected driver was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.

    The undocumented immigrants found inside the drop house were taken to a Border Patrol station in Casa Grande for processing. officials said. Four, however, are being detained by ICE for possible criminal prosecution, authorities said.

    Six other people were released after it was determined they were not involved with the smuggling activity, ICE officials said. ICE declined to say whether any of those released were undocumented immigrants.
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  2. #2
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    Apr 2012
    Six people released but no comment upon their legal status. Driver was an "undocumented" Mexican (another friend of the Bush family, no doubt). This story reeks with a lot of stench, IMO.
    Judy likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    The feds shut down much of Sheriff Joe's operations, which is the only reason why there's been a "drop" in the discovery of drop houses and other illegal alien criminal activities in the Phoenix area.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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