11 smuggled children found inside Phoenix drop house; 3 arrested

12/03/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Phoenix, AZ—Eleven children as young as 2-years-old were found at a drop house in Phoenix, leading to the arrest of three people for suspected smuggling activities. The arrests were made on Thursday, December 2, 2010, at around 6 p.m., as reported by MSNBC.

The Phoenix Police reported that the FBI first alerted the local Home Invasion Kidnapping Enforcement unit after they received a report of three girls being kidnapped in El Salvador. The kidnapping suspects were reportedly trying to extort money from the teen girls’ parents, and were also threatening to sexually assault them if their parents did not meet their demands.

Authorities arrived at the house, where they discovered 11 minors inside. Three teenage girls, ages 12, 14 and 15, and several other minors as young as 2-years-old were found.

Officials believe the children were illegally smuggled into the United States from Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia, rather than kidnapped.

A man and woman who were spotted driving away from the home when authorities arrived were arrested, as well as one male suspect who was found in the home.

The suspect found inside the home told authorities that he had also been smuggled but wasn’t able to pay, so he was working to pay off his debt by “guarding” the others.

Officials say they are trying to reunite the children with their families.

Investigations are underway.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Arizona criminal lawyers.

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