At Least 80 Immigrants Found In Home Near Phoenix, Police Say; 2 Suspected Smugglers Arrested

Saturday, April 7th 2007, 2:19 pm
By: News On 6

PHOENIX (AP) _ Authorities found at least 80 suspected illegal immigrants in a house west of Phoenix and arrested two suspected smugglers, a police official said.

Authorities shot tear gas into the house Friday, forcing one of the suspected smugglers out. They found the other suspect hiding in the attic, Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef said.

He said authorities became aware of the drop house after a Michigan resident called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying one of their relatives had called because the smugglers were demanding more money.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice did not confirm how the agency became aware of the drop house and declined to release further information.

None of the immigrants requested medical treatment, although some had said they hadn't eaten for at least a day, Tellef said.

``We're very fortunate that nobody got hurt,'' he said. ``We're lucky that we're not running into 100-degree temperatures yet.''

The one-story home is located in a middle-class neighborhood, he said.

The immigrants were in the custody of ICE.

Tellef said the drop house is the second the department has found this week. On Monday, he said 30 suspected illegal immigrants and four suspected smugglers were found in a Peoria home.

On Thursday in Phoenix, police found 60 suspected illegal immigrants packed in a home after responding to a call about shots being fired. No one was hurt, and the immigrants were turned over to ICE.