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Cell phone call leads cops to illegals

August 22, 2008 8:48:47 AM PDT
A cell phone call led deputies to a home in Palmdale, where they discovered at least a dozen illegal immigrants living there.Deputies found at least 22 people from Central and South America at the home.

Palmdale Sheriff Deputies swarmed the home Thursday afternoon, after they say, one of the illegal immigrants used a cellphone to call 911 and tell them he and the others were being kept in the house and against their will.

Sheriff's say the Mexican immigrants ranged in age from 3-years-old and to 40-years-old. They say they found immigrants stuffed in some craft places.

"A lot of them were very nervous, obviously not very trusting of us at that point. But we actually did find some in chimneys, people up in the attic. They were a little reluctant to come out for us," said Dave Jennings, L.A. County Sheriff's, Palmdale Station.

Officials say as they surrounded the home, four men believed to be the smugglers scouted out and fled and managed to get away and are on the run.

Rosa Navarez lives across the street from the home, she says she had no clue all those people were stuck inside.

"No we never see anything, like too many were people living there. We didn't know how long they were living there, nothing," said Navarez.

Navarez says as the immigrants were taken out to custody, her heart went out to the children.

"It's so sad to see them," said Navarez.

Some residents elected to talk to us but with their identity shielded.

"All those people, under our noses, no one saw them come, all we saw was two people and we saw four cars a couple times, but that was it," said a neighbor.

"A lot of people come up here with questionable immigration status, but that's the biggest one that I recall ever having handled. ICE came up here and took custody of all of them," said Jennings.

 

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