LPD, BP discover stash house in central Laredo housing 14 undocumented immigrants

By César Rodriguez, LMTonline.com / Laredo Morning Times
Published 6:14 pm CDT, Thursday, October 10, 2019

Laredo police and the U.S. Border Patrol discovered a stash house that was operated by a man who worked for a human smuggling organization, according to court documents.

Authorities said they found 14 immigrants who had crossed the border illegally inside a home in the 300 block of Esperanza Drive. A criminal complaint filed Oct. 7 identified him as Ricardo Hernandez. He was charged with harboring illegal immigrants.

On Oct. 3, LPD narcotics officers requested assistance from Border Patrol regarding a home on Esperanza that was possibly used for harboring immigrants, according to court documents.

LPD and Border Patrol also set up surveillance at about 3:20 p.m. at another home in the 1900 block of San Francisco Avenue. Authorities said they saw their target depart the residence in a tan Chevrolet Suburban. The Suburban arrived at the home on Esperanza. A male and a female exited the vehicle and entered the residence.

Agents approached them when they exited the home at about 4:05 p.m. They identified the male as Hernandez, a U.S. citizen. Hernandez claimed that the female was his girlfriend and was not aware of his actions.

Asked about the residence, Hernandez stated he lived there. He allegedly agreed to a consent to search the home. Agents then discovered 14 immigrants inside two bedrooms. All were Mexican citizens who were in the country illegally, according to Border Patrol.

Homeland Security Investigations took over the investigation. Hernandez allegedly agreed to speak to authorities without an attorney present.

Hernandez stated that someone approached him at a local establishment and offered him work.

“Hernandez stated he agreed to be paid in exchange for housing undocumented (immigrants) at his residence.

According to Hernandez, he leased the residence under his name and began accepting undocumented (immigrants) from a human smuggling organization for monetary gain,” states the affidavit.