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Police Find 45 Suspected Illegal Immigrants at Motel

June 06, 2005|From a Times Staff Writer

Forty-five suspected illegal immigrants, at least one suffering from chickenpox, were found Saturday crammed into four rooms at a Motel 6 in Sylmar, police said.

Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Chuck Wampler said they were discovered after police responded to a tip. At first, he said, "there was a concern that they were being held against their will."

Once it was determined that the 37 men, six women and two male juveniles were there willingly, the LAPD turned the case over to immigration officials, Wampler said.

Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the immigrants came from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Ecuador, and would be quarantined for eight days because of the contagious illness. She would not say where they were being detained.

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