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US Agents Uncover Smuggling 'Drop House'


U.S. customs and immigration agents say two Guatemalan men face human smuggling charges after agents uncovered a so-called "drop house" where illegal immigrants were being held against their will.

Officials Thursday said 25 Central American migrants were found virtually imprisoned in a residence in California Wednesday.

The illegal immigrants, from Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador, told agents they had been confined to two rooms for more than one month.

They say their Guatemalan captors prevented them from leaving the house, threatened them with machetes, and provided food only once each day.

The probe into the smuggling operation is ongoing, and the 25 migrants are being interviewed by investigators.

Authorities say the Guatemalan captors were expected to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon.

Smugglers use so-called "drop houses" to hold illegal immigrants as they arrange for relatives to pay the balance of their smuggling fees.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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