4 Men sentenced for operating Phoenix drop housePosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Four men will be spending time in a federal prison for operating a drop house in Phoenix.
The four Mexican citizens pleaded guilty to harboring illegal aliens and operating a drop house, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Francisco Javier Martinez-Estrada, 31, Jose Juan Osuna-Ontiveros, 19, and Isidro Anguiano-Diaz, 34, were sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. Jorge Villa-Garcia, 41, was sentenced to a 30-month prison term.
In their plea agreement, the defendants admitted that from February through March 3, they worked together to harbor illegal immigrants at a Phoenix house until the immigrants could pay their smuggling fee. More than 40 illegal immigrants where held against their will.
Prosecutors said the smugglers used loaded firearms to intimidate the immigrants and prevent them from leaving the house.
On the day the defendants were arrested, 14 illegal immigrants were found in a locked bedroom with boarded-up windows to prevent them from escaping.