A man has been arrested in connection with the recent discovery of 47 immigrants inside a stash house in central Laredo, according to an arrest affidavit filed on Thursday.
Homeland Security Investigations identified the suspect as Jose Arcos-Alejo. He was identified as the person watching over the stash house. He was charged with conceal, harbor or shield from detection a group of immigrants or attempt to conceal, harbor or shield from detection the immigrants.
HSI special agents said the case unfolded Tuesday, when county and federal authorities began conducting surveillance at a residence on a suspected human stash house in the 1100 block of East Lyon Street.
At about 5 p.m., Webb County Sheriff’s Office deputies observed a vehicle exit the residence with some occupants. Deputies followed the vehicle until they stopped it in the intersection of Clark Boulevard and North Stone Avenue.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrived at the scene of the vehicle. Agents conducted an immigration inspection on the driver, who was identified as Arcos-Alejo, and another male occupant. Both stated they were citizens of Mexico who were in the country illegally, records state.
At the residence, authorities said they encountered 38 men, eight women and one girl. Arcos-Alejo further stated he had arranged to be smuggled into the United States for a smuggling fee.
“Arcos-Alejo stated during his smuggling event, he was recruited by a (human) smuggler to harbor other (illegal immigrants) and in return, he would have his smuggling fee reduced by $5,000. Arcos-Alejo claimed he was told he would have to work for one month to cover the smuggling fee reduction,” states the affidavit.