2 arrested, 10 rescued in possible human smuggling case in SW Houston, HPD says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police say two people were arrested and 10 were rescued in a possible human smuggling case in the city's southwest area.

On Wednesday, HPD said officers were at a home in the 9000 block of McAvoy, where the victims were being held.

Houston police said ICE is also investigating. No further information was released, but human smuggling cases aren't anything new to Houston law enforcement. It's a trend though, they continue to see.

"We see larger numbers coming in. I think it's safe to say numbers are on the rise," said HSI Houston Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Human Smuggling and Trafficking, Mary Magness.

This recent suspected case of human smuggling on McAvoy comes after five undocumented immigrants were found in a tractor-trailer in Katy in May. And, in April, nearly 100 people were discovered in a southwest Houston home.

SEE ALSO: 5 undocumented people found in tractor-trailer in suspected human smuggling case in Katy, officials say

Magness said the number one priority for the suspected smugglers is to make money off of the people they smuggle, and it's usually immigrants from the border. Authorities say Houston is a hub for human smuggling and trafficking, with captors bringing people from the border to Houston and then places beyond.

"When people are brought to Houston, this is a good staging area, where people can then shoot off to other organizations," says Magness.

SEE ALSO: HPD investigating possible human smuggling after 90 people found in SW Houston

Cesar Espinosa with immigrant-led civil rights organization, FIEL, said "this is a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds off people's desperations."

He believes this trend will continue as more immigrants want to come to the United States. As law enforcement sees the number of human smuggling and trafficking cases rise, they're hoping to fight it as best they can and ask people if they see something, to say something.

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