Monday, May 7, 2012

AZMEX I3 4-5-12

AZMEX I3 4 MAY 2012

4 men rescued from Phoenix drophouse; 3 were assaulted
by John Genovese - May. 3, 2012 09:38 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

Federal authorities say four Mexican citizens were rescued Wednesday
from a violent Phoenix drophouse.

Three of the men told investigators they were beaten, sexually abused
and assaulted with a stun gun, according to Amber Cargile, a U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman. One man had also
been stabbed, she said.

The four were reportedly freed after ICE special agents, assigned to
the Phoenix Border Enforcement Security Task Force and working with
Phoenix police, learned that suspected human smugglers were operating
out of the house near 83rd Avenue and Osborn Road.

"To the smugglers, these human beings are nothing more than a
business commodity. They have no qualms about using ruthless violence
in an effort to collect their smuggling fees," said Matt Allen, a
special agent in charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations in

While monitoring the house, a vehicle that left the garage was
stopped, Cargile said. Two suspected smugglers and two recently
smuggled Mexican nationals were apprehended, and agents found $7,200
inside the car, she said.

Shortly afterwards, ICE said, three other men, believed to be
smugglers, were taken into custody while leaving the house on bike
and foot.

When authorities entered the house, four Mexican citizens were found
in a bedroom. Two were bound with rope around their ankles and a
third had been recently stabbed in his upper back. All three had
other injuries consistent with being physically abused, ICE said. The
fourth man rescued appeared physically unharmed.

Officials said the stabbing victim was treated at a local hospital
and later released to authorities. The other three were treated as
needed by paramedics at the scene.

All four are now in ICE custody and receiving victim services,
Cargile said.

The five suspected smugglers, all Mexican citizens, were arrested by
Phoenix police and face charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault,
sexual assault, and extortion. They may also face future federal
charges and were expected to make an initial court experience late

ICE said the investigation is ongoing.

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