Nearly 30 human smuggling victims rescued from southwest Houston home, police say

HOUSTON – Nearly 30 people were rescued Thursday from a southwest Houston home that was involved in a human smuggling operation, police said.

The incident was reported on Raven Ridge Drive, near the corner of Court and Hiram Clarke roads.

According to Houston police, officers responded to reports of a man in his underwear running down the street and yelling that he had been kidnapped. The man told officers that dozens of people were being held hostage in the house.

Police said they entered the home and found 29 males and one female inside.

“That’s a pretty significant number for us to encounter,” said Cmdr. Jonathon Halliday, of the Houston Police Department.

Police said three people have been taken into custody and may be coyotes -- people hired to smuggle people into the United States.

Investigators said most of the victims said they were picked up in Brownsville between two days and a week ago. They said most of the victims are from Mexico, El Salvador, Cuba and Honduras.

The victims were taken to a nearby school gymnasium to get them out of the cold, police said. The victims were also provided with food and clothing, police said.

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