A cluster of three stash houses containing 115 illegal immigrants was uncovered in Edinberg, Texas and two men were charged with conspiracy of harboring them.
The two men charged in the case were identified as Vicente Ortiz Soto and Marcial Salas Gardunio, both the age of 25. Reports show that the culprits are accused of smuggling and keeping guard of the immigrants.
Officials discovered the smuggling operation after receiving an emergency call from one of the stashed immigrants who stated that he had been locked inside for three days without food or water.
Salas told ICE agents that he had locked the immigrants inside the house to prevent their escape, and that another four women were moved to his apartment. He also stated that Ortiz paid him over $500 to track the immigrants, feed them, and to transport them.
Seven of the 115 were transported to the hospital to be treated for dehydration. The group of immigrants came from around Mexico, Central America, and South America. ICE detained four from the group to declare material witness statements against the accused.
The witnesses, including Hondurans and Salvadorans, detailed that the amounts of food they received was meager and they were constantly being threatened with being beaten or killed.
Salas and Ortiz remain in custody and their hearing with the U.S. magistrate is set for this upcoming Monday.
Border patrols have continuously discovered stash houses and have detained over 1,000 illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley in recent months.