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February 28, 2019El Paso, TX, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

ICE discovers 67 illegal aliens, including 6 unaccompanied teens, in deplorable conditions in a shed in NM

EL PASO, Texas — Deportation officers and special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday discovered 67 illegal aliens from Guatemala and Ecuador, including six unaccompanied teenagers, in a stash house in Dexter, New Mexico.

The stash house, in the 7300 block of Southeast Main Street, was used by an alien smuggling organization to house illegal aliens who had been smuggled into the United States. Dexter is about 18 miles from Roswell, New Mexico.

Tomas Miguel Mateo, 38, of Guatemala, is charged in a federal criminal complaint with harboring the illegal aliens and with unlawfully re-entering the United States after having been previously deported. 

“As the deplorable conditions of this stash house demonstrate, transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) have no respect for human life,” said Jack P. Staton, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso. “Human smuggling is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, and the individuals being smuggled are viewed as cargo by the criminal networks. HSI continues to investigate this organization and will hold them accountable for their illicit activities.”

The illegal aliens were cramped into an unfurnished and filthy 20-foot by 20-foot wooden addition to a travel trailer and provided minimal food and water. The addition didn’t have a working toilet, and a sign was placed on the bathroom door that read in Spanish, “Don’t use the bathroom.”

This is an HSI-led ongoing investigation.