5 men who held 115 people in stash house plead guilty

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HOUSTON - Five men have entered guilty pleas to federal charges after police say they held 115 people for ransom inside a house in south Houston.

Thirty-four-year-old Jose Aviles-Villa, 28-year-old Jonathan Solorzano-Tavila, 40-year-old Antonio Barruquet-Hildeberta, 22-year-old Jose Cesmas-Borja, and 20-year-old Eugenio Sesmas-Borja were arrested on March 19.

The men, all from Michoacan, Mexico, were charged on April 8 with conspiracy to harbor and transport ilegal aliens and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Authorities say the men pleaded guilty to the federal charges on Wednesday.

Investigators say the men seized the victim's clothes, shoes, phones and other possessions. They used guns, paddles, Tasers and other equipment to control and prevent the victims from escaping from the stash house, according to federal officials.

The men will remain in custody until their sentencing hearing which is set for July 30.

Officials say they each face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy conviction, as well as a mandatory minimum of five years for using a firearm, which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Houston Police Department.

Mug shots for the suspects were not released because this is a federal case.

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