Federal and state authorities rescued 27 people including a 3-year-old girl late Wednesday from a Fort Worth home during a human trafficking investigation.
Two men who authorities believe had smuggled the people into Fort Worth were arrested at the scene. The house is located in the 1800 block of Miller Avenue.
A Fort Worth Star Telegram story stated that nine women and a 3-year-old girl were in the group of migrants who came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. They were released to members of the League of United Latin American Citizens, who paid for them to stay in hotel rooms so they wouldn’t be outside in the freezing weather, LULAC officials said in a news release.
One of the women told WFAA-TV that her husband, who worked as a street vendor in Honduras, was murdered by men who had been extorting money from him. The woman was afraid for her life and spent about a month walking to the U.S. through Mexico.
“I wanted to come here to give my daughters a better life and for me to be safe,” the woman told WFAA.
“Our first task was to get them safely processed out of law enforcement custody and get them to housing where they could rest for a few hours,” said Hilda Duarte, LULAC district director in Dallas, in the news release. “Since then, we have worked to ensure they get medical help and essential basics and connect them to their family in the United States.”
The two suspects arrested are 35-year-old Carlos Plata Ibarra and 33-year-old Gonzalo Ramirez. Both face charges on the offense of smuggling of persons.