Two dozen in custody after drop house bust in Mesa

Posted: Updated:

MESA - Dozens of suspected illegal immigrants were uncovered inside a house in the east Valley on Monday afternoon.

This situation had the whole neighborhood in the 6700 block of east Butte on lockdown.

In many cases people found in drop houses are brought to the 4th Avenue Jail for processing.
Lily Goates says, “This is the most cops I’ve seen in my life."

A flood of officers responded to a neighbor's tip about a suspected drop house.

Keyonni Benedict explains, “Big old SWAT truck, everything…crazy stuff."

A spokesperson with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says three men ran when they pulled up to the home.

Goates explains, “They were drawing their guns pointing them at the house over there."

Officers put nearby Mesa Preparatory Academy on lockdown for the afternoon.

Benedict says, “A cop told us to get back in the garage, there might be fire…people with rifles in there."

Police ended up bashing in the front window of the drop house where the suspected undocumented immigrants had been hiding inside as neighbors watched as they came pouring out in groups.

Walter Johnson says, “They were moving them around faster than I could keep track."

Despite a dramatic scene, officers say the group of suspected illegal immigrants was cooperative and peaceful. In all 24 men were taken into custody.

Officers also found a stolen SUV in the backyard.