On Friday, authorities announced that Houston police arrested 5 suspects in a kidnapping and human smuggling ring.
Two women and 16 men were held captive, cops said on Friday. The survivors were described by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo as immigrants “from various Latin American countries.”
Cops identified the defendants as Jose Manuel Aviles-Diaz, 26, Moris Gudiel Campos Gomez, 39, Fredy Moreno-Gil, 26, Gabriel Salazar-Bautista, 35, and Jose Silvestre, 18, according to ABC 13.
The circumstances are horrifying.
On June 5, a family contacted the Houston Police Department to report their relative was being held for a ransom, and that the kidnappers would not release the relative without a specific amount of money.
Detectives with the Homicide Division, Human Trafficking Unit and the Criminal Intelligence Division worked quickly to locate the suspects and began a rescue operation.
Authorities located a stash house at 10427 Rockcrest Rd. where 18 people, including two women, were allegedly being held in the safe house.
The two women were allegedly held captive in the home for 25 days, and sexually assaulted by three of the five men arrested.
The other 16 men were allegedly being held with little to no clothing, and were “enslaved, in some cases, for work and sex.”
Detectives said 18 people, including two women, were being held for ransom. They also found four guns, more than $10,000 in cash and 19 grams of cocaine.
So where did these victims come from? “More than likely they were smuggled thru and brought to a safe house,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.