CHAPARRAL, New Mexico – U.S. Border Patrol agents said Wednesday they had uncovered a a human smuggling operation that utilized a "stash" house in Chaparral.
A weekend raid found 57 undocumented immigrants crowded inside that alleged stash house.
Authorities contend a permanent U.S. resident and his wife operated the smuggling ring that brought in people from Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
Officials cited a recent uptick in smuggling activity, noting the take down of other alleged stash houses last month in El Paso that turned up roughly three-dozen migrants believed to be in the country illegally.
El Paso's Border Patrol sector chief Gloria Chavez blamed "transnational criminal organizations who repeatedly use humans for profit" for the rise in stash house use.