October 21, 2007 in Nation/World

Raid finds tortured illegal immigrants

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

PHOENIX – Police raided a drop house for illegal immigrants and discovered several, including a pregnant woman, whose handlers had beaten and tortured, authorities said.

Police took 54 people into custody after the raid Friday, including four children and seven suspected smugglers.

Maricopa County sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla said one man’s pregnant wife was severely beaten and will probably lose her baby.

Deputies are investigating reports that smugglers held at least five other immigrants at gunpoint and demanded more money.

Sheriff’s officials learned of the drop house during an investigation into human smuggling, Chagolla said. The home is the third discovered in a ring of related drop houses, and 80 people have been arrested under immigration laws, Chagolla said.

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