ICE: Dozens detained in human smuggling investigation at Phoenix home

Posted at 8:07 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 22:08:26-04

More than two dozen people have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents as they are investigating suspected human smuggling activity at a Phoenix home.

Air15 video from Tuesday around 6 p.m. showed several people handcuffed and leaning against a garage door of a residence near 7th Street and Baseline Road. 

The 34 immigrants taken into custody included 27 Guatemalans, five Mexicans and 2 Hondurans, according to a statement from the agency.

 "We responded to a tip that basically informed us there was a local residence that contained a large group of suspected undocumented immigrants," said Lauren Mack, an agency spokeswoman. "They dismantled a drop house."

Human traffickers typically use drop houses to temporarily house immigrants who have been smuggled into the country while "waiting for transportation to another or a pickup or payment made to a smuggler," Mack said.

The immigrants have been detained on immigration administrative charges in conjunction with the investigation, ICE said. 

There was no information immediately available on how long the immigrants had been in the home, Mack said.