Police on Wednesday rescued 109 people, most of them believed to be undocumented immigrants, from a house in southeastern Houston, local media reported.
Houston police spokesman John Cannon said that five men were arrested in the operation for apparently being part of a people trafficking network, and he discussed the shock experienced by the officers at finding more than 100 people confined in a single house.
"When they opened the door, it was like a wave of humanity that ran toward them," he said, as reported by "La Voz de Houston."
The officers found a total of 94 men and 15 women inside the residence, most of them in good health except for a pregnant woman who was taken to the hospital, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The people were rescued about 11:30 a.m. after a Houston family reported the disappearance of a woman and her two children, leading police to come to the house during their search for the trio.
According to initial reports, the people trafficker who was allegedly helping the family come to Texas had not delivered the mother, her 7-year-old daughter or her 5-year-old son to Houston as scheduled, leading their family to report their disappearance.
Apparently, most of the people found inside the house were dressed in their underwear and barefoot, possibly to reduce the chance of their fleeing, and poor hygiene conditions and windows covered with plywood were found there.
Also inside the house, along with hundreds of chickens, police found pistols and other evidence of a human smuggling operation. EFE