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IIMPACT Detectives dismantle two Phoenix drop houses in three weeks

Total of six coyotes arrested and 23 victims rescued

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 -

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On December 4, 2009, IIMPACT investigators acting on a tip began efforts to locate a Mexican national that was being held against his will at a west valley drop house. The drop house was located on December 6th at 5130 N. 68th Avenue in Glendale. As a SWAT team from the Arizona Department of Public Safety approached the house, two suspects attempted to flee through the backyard but were caught by IIMPACT investigators. Another suspect was taken into custody on the driveway.

Inside the home, 8 undocumented aliens were located. The victims said armed guards ordered them to line up and hand over their valuables and money and told them to remove their socks and shoes. They told investigators the suspects would often point firearms at their heads as they spoke to family members while being extorted for money. Their captors threatened to find and kill them if they ever spoke to police. The suspects also took pictures of the victims. Investigators located two AK-47 rifles, four handguns and the cell phones used to make ransom demands. In the bedroom where the aliens were kept, the windows were fortified with plywood to stop the undocumented aliens from escaping.

Suspects: Salvador Rodriquez

Edward Geraldo-Ramirez

Freddy Hernandez

Charges: Kidnapping, Extortion, Armed Robbery, Human Smuggling,

Misconduct Involving Weapons

On November 17, 2009, IIMPACT Investigators received information that an out-of-state relative had paid almost $3,000 to “coyotes’ to secure her relatives release from a west valley drop house. IIMPACT was able to locate the house at 4151 W. Earll Drive on November 20th. As IIMPACT detectives approached, numerous suspects tried to run out the back door. Eventually three suspects were located and fifteen additional immigrants were found inside. A stolen Glock handgun was found inside along with two cell phones. The immigrants were held in a back room with wood fortifying the back window and the door was locked with reverse deadbolts.

Suspects: Santiago Bermudez-Gomez

Luis Quezada

Julio Camargo-Vasquez

Charges: Human Smuggling

IIMPACT (Illegal Immigration Prevention & Apprehension Co-op Team) is a multi-agency project managed by GIITEM of the Arizona Department of Public Safety that is designed to “deter, disrupt and dismantle violent criminal organizations profiting from human smuggling.” In most IIMPACT cases, crimes of kidnapping, extortion, assault and human smuggling are prevalent. IIMPACT is comprised of investigators from the Phoenix Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.