5 people test positive for COVID after being found in suspected human smuggling operation in SW Houston, police say

HOUSTON – More than 90 people were found inside a home in southwest Houston, and Houston police say they suspect human smuggling.

The home is in the 12200 block of Chessington Drive at South Kensington Drive.

“I walk this road when I’m usually out walking, no inclination of anything going on. It’s a quiet neighborhood. That’s why we’re here,” said homeowner Wanda Andrews.

Police said five of the 97 people found inside the residence tested positive for COVID-19.

The health department is headed to the home and they will perform rapid tests. As of 1:45 p.m., no one has been brought out of the home and police have not been able to separate victims from potential suspects.

Out of the 97 people found inside the house, five are female and the rest are male. None are children and the oldest is in the late 30s.

It is a two-story house. The people were spread out upstairs and downstairs. They were huddled together and told police that they haven’t eaten in a while.

Police said aside from some mattresses on the wall, the inside of the house appeared to be in good shape. Authorities are attempting to identify who’s who, as they have reason to believe the suspects are trying to blend in with everyone else.

Police and Houston firefighters are providing them with food, water and medical attention.

Police say they received a tip last night about a possible kidnapping. All night officers worked to find the location of the victim. Police obtained a search warrant and tactical/SWAT members entered the home and found it was a human smuggling event.

“When we got into the house we realized there were over 90 people inside. We immediately began to assess any threats and render medical care,” said Houston Police Assistant Chief Daryn Edwards said. “It was very surprising.”

Houston police at home on Chessington on April 30, 2021. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

This is a developing story. KPRC 2 will share details as they become available.

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