Four alleged human smugglers were arrested last night when the Department of Public Safety busted up a drop house in Avondale.
Also found inside the home was weed, cash, and 19 illegal immigrants -- many of whom have been arrested before for crimes like drug possession, weapons misconduct, child abuse, crimes against children, and even murder -- the DPS says.
Many of the victims suffered injuries at the hands of their captors that required medical attention.
The DPS raided the house, at 10938 West Locust Street in Avondale, about 7 p.m. yesterday.
As the DPS' Special Operations Unit entered the house, several suspects were seen trying to flee -- some even went crashing through a window in the master bedroom of the house, "severely" cutting themselves.
Inside the home, DPS agents found 15.5 pounds of marijuana and $1,000 in cash.
The alleged smugglers took the 19 illegal immigrants' belongings, and kept them in a boarded up room.
Several of the victims were beaten by the smugglers with a curtain rod, wooden sticks, and pistols as punishment for not paying the extortion fee, the agency says.
The suspects have been identified as Manuel Castro, 29, Anslemo Mancinas, 29, Enrique Alfredo Perez, 20, and Ivan Rodriquez, 29. All of the suspects -- and victims -- are Mexican nationals.
The 19 illegal immigrants were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The alleged smugglers were booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges including kidnapping, aggravated assault, human smuggling, and armed robbery.