(HOUSTON) – Houston police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office made a startling discovery Wednesday in southwest Houston.
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They discovered a home in the 14700 block of Almeda School Road with dozens of suspected undocumented immigrants stuffed into squalid conditions.
Ellea Johnson lives directly across the street from what police call a coyote stash house, and she had tears in her eyes while listening to the police press conference held on her driveway.
“I’m a mother. I’m a grandmother. I’m a great-grandmother.,” she said. “How can I not be broken?”
She watched with a broken heart as ICE agents brought a pregnant woman and two children out of the house.
Johnson said she had no idea the place was a stash house. The neighbors were always friendly, but she did notice they always locked the gate when the left, even in the daytime.
Houston Police Department spokesperson John Cannon said 100 people were stuffed into the 1,600-sf house, which only had one partially working toilet.
Everyone was forced to disrobe to their underwear and had no shoes. According to investigators, that made it harder for them to escape.
Police said most were in the house between two and four days, but at least one person was there for 15 days.