July 16, 2008

Feds bust human smuggling ring in San Marcos

L to R Rosalinda Alvarez Trevino, Maria Garcia Luz, Julio Salgado-Ortega, and Alejandro Guzman Ortega

Posted: July 16, 2008 09:30 PM CDT

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) -- Four people are being held at the Hays County Detention Center, facing kidnapping charges after police say they were threatening the families of illegal aliens they were smuggling into the country. Two are from the United States and two are from Mexico.

KXAN was there as eight women and 18 men were detained from a trailer at a mobile home park on Iris Street in San Marcos Wednesday night. Some of them were half naked, in their underwear.

Hays County police chief Howard Williams said in a news conference Thursday afternoon they learned of the situation after federal authorities got a phone call from people saying some coyotes were threatening the lives of their family members they were trying to smuggle into the country.

A coyote is someone who illegally smuggles aliens into the country.

Under arrest are Alejandro Guzman Ortega and Julio Cesar Selgado both of Mexico, and Rosalina Alvarez Trevino and Luz Maria Garcia. Both women are US citizens. The four suspects face state charges of kidnapping, and possible federal charges of kidnapping, smuggling and harboring.

Officials say federal charges could be filed in the four people being detained. If federal charges are filed, they will be transferred over to federal custody.

Ten of the immigrants taken from the trailer at the San Marcos Regency mobile home park were treated and released for dehydration and minor injuries.

Stay with KXAN.com and Austin News at 5, 6 and 10 for continued coverage of this developing story.

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