HOUSTON (September 20, 2012)—Authorities who were searching for a Nicaraguan teenager allegedly held by smugglers rescued the girl and more than 80 other suspected illegal immigrants in a raid on a house in Houston.
Federal agents and Houston police raided the house Wednesday night and found the unharmed 16-year-old girl, along with dozens of men, women and other children.
All were detained pending decisions on their immigration status.
Four people suspected of being smugglers were taken into custody pending charges.
The girl's mother reported to police Tuesday that she paid smugglers $6,000 to transport the girl, but the said they demanded more cash.
Authorities said a tip led them to the residence.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Greg Palmore said all of the individuals held at the house were in their underwear.
None wore shoes.
Medical checkups were ordered for all of them.