Immigration operation underway across Houston

February 2, 2010 4:13:46 PM PST
Immigration officers targeted several areas across the City of Houston. One raid led to arrests at a business in southeast Houston that agents say was a stash house for illegal immigrants. This is apparently the culmination of a very long investigation on a number of fronts. Earlier today agents fanned out across the city and conducted a variety of raids.

Immigration officials and law enforcement descended on the People Express office on Long Drive near Telephone in southeast Houston with armored vehicles and dozens of officers. Agents arrested several people and hauled off evidence.

No one was more shocked by the federal agents than someone who visited the business every day -- the mailman.

"They're pretty normal people," said postal carrier Tony Sanchez. "I remember an older couple that I always talked to. They're pretty quiet, normal. I didn't suspect anything myself."

" I thought they weren't really in business," said Berto, a nearby worker. "It didn't seem like they had a business going on in there."

Agents raided several locations throughout Houston. Not far away on Park Place, there was a similar raid at another transportation company. Once again, several people were placed under arrest.

The Department of Homeland Security would not give details of their lengthy investigation that led to today's raids, but observant neighbors say they knew something was up.

Richard Wemhoff, who worked nearby, said, "I just saw that one vehicle parked at that building. He had the binoculars and he was always looking down this way. I knew something was up. Wasn't none of my business so I stayed out of it."

A number of high ranking officials are flying to Houston from Washington tomorrow to hold a press conference.