Drop house bust nets 4 suspects, 5 victims

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PHOENIX -- The following is a press release from the Department of Public Safety:

On Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, Detectives from the Illegal Immigration Prevention & Apprehension Co-op Team (IIMPACT) arrested four suspects at a Phoenix area drop house. The suspects were holding five undocumented aliens against their will to extort additional payment for their release at 5647 South 10th Street in Phoenix. (IIMPACT is explained on Page 2 of this news release.)

Phoenix Police Department received a 9-1-1 phone call from a citizen around 9:00 a.m. on Monday who advised he was approached by a man and woman who had a small child with them and advised they needed help because they had just escaped from the South 10th Street residence. The two explained how they were forcibly being held against their will by four people who wanted an additional $7,500 for their release. They had initially paid $7,500 to be transported to California. They escaped when the suspects fell asleep and were found walking around in a parking lot by the citizen, which was not too far from the residence.

Phoenix PD Officers arrived on scene, interviewed the couple and took the three of them into protective custody. Based on the information received, Phoenix PD personnel went to the residence, conducted an entry and arrested the four suspects and located two other undocumented aliens who were being held. The other two aliens were originally destined for Washington State. It is not known how much they initially paid and how much more money the second couple was ordered to pay for their release.

IIMPACT Detectives were notified of the incident, arrived on scene and conducted an investigation. A Search Warrant was obtained and executed for the residence which is a two-story, three-bedroom, three-bath single-family structure. Detectives seized one 9mm handgun which was used to intimidate the victims. The five victims, all from Mexico, believed they had only been at the residence for a day.