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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A News Summary | The Local Review

10 Illegal Immigrants Rescued, Deputies Say

November 10, 1998

SAN GABRIEL — Ten illegal immigrants being held by smugglers were rescued from a home and four men were arrested, authorities said Monday.

"They were locked in, held against their will, until payment for the trip to the United States could be made," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Richard Shaw. "The windows were covered with heavy metal bars and the doors all had dead bolts."

Deputies were tipped Sunday that the immigrants were being held in the four-bedroom Frandsen Street home, investigators said. Deputies peeked inside the home, which had no furniture, and saw people inside.

One of the alleged smugglers unlocked the door at noon at the request of deputies.

"The immigrants said they had been transported by a coyote [smuggler] from Tijuana. The family members were supposed to pay the coyote here," Deputy Rude Cortez said.

Darwin Desidero, 25, Jose Leon and Jose Rivera, ages undetermined, and a male teenager, whose name wasn't released because of his age, were arrested for investigation of smuggling illegal immigrants.

Shaw said the smugglers were demanding $1,200 payment for each of the eight men, a woman and a baby girl. The immigrants had been held in the house from two to five days.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service was called and the immigrants agreed to voluntarily return to Mexico.

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