Fort Bend, Texas, law enforcement officials have arrested three men accused of smuggling immigrants into the U.S. and holding them against their will, according to authorities.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a welfare check call at about noon on Aug. 30, on Meadow Hollow Drive in Meadows Place in Fort Bend County.
When deputies arrived, they opened a human trafficking investigation when they found several immigrants allegedly being held against their will.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office’s Human Trafficking Unit also responded, and a preliminary investigation led to information that involved kidnapping and human smuggling of immigrants.
Five of the immigrants, police said, were located inside a residence and were allegedly smuggled from Mexico.
The five immigrants, police added, were locked in a garage without air conditioning, pending payment of additional money.
As a result of the investigation, Jose Aguirre, 24, Jose Martin, 22, and Orlando Flores, 21, were charged with smuggling of persons.
Bond for Martin and Flores was set at $500,000, while bond for Jose Aguirre was pending due to an additional charge of aggravated kidnapping.
"We are dedicated to keeping our community safe while combating heinous crimes such as these, and we are working tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice," Sheriff Eric Fagan said. "While arrests have been made, this investigation continues in order to ensure all involved are held accountable."