McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Two men have been indicted on charges of conspiring to harbor illegal immigrants and harboring them after authorities found about 115 suspected illegal immigrants in three clustered South Texas homes.
A federal grand jury in McAllen handed up the indictments Tuesday against Vicente Ortiz-Soto and Marcial Salas-Gardunio.
A criminal complaint filed against them described authorities arriving to find immigrants fleeing two houses in Edinburg while others remained locked in a third. Immigrant witnesses told authorities that Salas greeted them at the stash house with “Welcome to hell,” according to the complaint. Salas told investigators Ortiz paid him $500 per week to smuggle immigrants.
Ortiz-Soto’s attorney didn’t return a message for comment, but Salas-Gardunio’s attorney, Oscar Alvarez, said he anticipated not guilty pleas.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)