Teen rescued from suspected smugglers

Comment on this story
iol pic wldf Immigration Overload-Captive Boy~1 Associated Press Suspect Frances Salas is seen in this police photograph: Picture: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Phoenix - A 13-year-old Honduran boy held hostage by two people-smugglers in an alleged attempt to extort more money from his family has been rescued from a Phoenix apartment, federal authorities said on Wednesday.

Authorities were alerted to the boy's plight on Friday by his mother, who said her son had recently been smuggled across the US border into Arizona and that the smugglers were now trying to extort her, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

The mother, who lives in Florida, told authorities there that her son was being held captive at an undisclosed spot in Phoenix and that she feared for his safety. She complained the smugglers were demanding more money to take the boy to the family.

Agents in Phoenix were able to locate the apartment on Friday night, and authorities arrested the pair without incident, ICE said.

The boy, who was unharmed, was turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States. It was not immediately clear how long he had been held or how much money the smugglers were seeking, nor was there any word on when the boy would be reunited with his mother.

“This case illustrates yet again the inhumanity of the human smuggling trade,” Matt Allen, a Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge in Arizona, said in a statement. “The sad but simple fact is, to the smuggling organisation, this child is nothing more than a business commodity.”

Frances Salas, 27, and Jesus Millan-Rodriguez, 31, were booked into jail on Friday on suspicion of kidnapping and marijuana possession for sale stemming from the incident, ICE said. Agents also found a pound of marijuana in a plastic bag in the apartment.

Salas, a Phoenix resident, and Millan-Rodriguez, a Mexican national, remained in custody on Wednesday, sheriff's officials said. - Reuters

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines