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IIMPACT Detectives discover West Valley Drop House following phone tip

9 victims of violent crime rescued from west valley drop house

Thursday, April 29, 2010 -

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On Wednesday April 28, 2010, Phoenix Police received a tip from out of state that a Mexican national was being held against his will at a Phoenix area drop house. IIMPACT detectives began an investigation and eventually located the suspected drop house at 8667 W. Palm Lane.

At approximately 11:50 a.m. an Arizona Department of Public Safety SWAT team served a search warrant at the residence and discovered 9 undocumented aliens inside the home along with three suspected human smugglers. Detectives also located a loaded revolver along with ledgers that indicated evidence of human smuggling. There was fortification present in at least one room where the captives were held.

Several of the undocumented aliens told investigators they had been beaten while being extorted for money. The drop house had been operating for about a week. All of the UDA’s were placed in the custody of ICE. Three suspected human smugglers were booked into the 4th Avenue Jail.

On April 13, 2010, DPS received an anonymous tip that a criminal alien had returned to the United States and was seen in El Mirage. Mario Alvarez-Santoya had multiple outstanding warrants and had previously been deported several times. IIMPACT detectives observed Alvarez-Santoya enter a vehicle at his residence of 12009 N. 115th Avenue. A traffic stop was made with the cooperation of El Mirage police. Mr. Alvarez was taken into custody without incident.

He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail for Assault and DUI warrants. A hold was also placed for an outstanding city of Phoenix warrant for using a fraudulent ID. ICE intends to file federal charges for re-entry after deportation.

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.