Police: Suspected drop house found in Phoenix

- Police say officers doing a welfare check discovered a drop house near 49th Avenue and Cheery Lyn Road on Monday morning.

Inside, 10 undocumented immigrants were found.

On the Department of Public Safety web site, a drop house is described as "often an intermediary point in the smuggling of immigrants who are not legally permitted to enter the United States. The drop houses are usually rented properties where coyotes, or human smugglers, stash immigrants while awaiting payments. These properties can range from actual houses or apartments and are not limited to any one geographic area of the state."

Neighbors at the scene said they were shocked by this discovery and said they had some interaction with the people who lived at the home and everything seemed fairly normal until recently.

"For a while, there were kids playing in the yard and then that ceased probably about three months ago.. and we were just kinda wondering why they weren't very friendly.. I don't know.. I'm just blown away," said Robbin Ortega, a concerned neighbor.  "Didn't suspect... no except for the mattress that's been out there a couple weeks, that was kinda strange.. my dogs have been barking a lot lately.. other than that.. we had no clue.. which really makes me feel kinda ignorant about it, but what do you do?"

DPS says there are certain things to look for if you believe you've spotted a drop house: security bars on windows, a shed or another dwelling behind the home, blankets or sheets over or under the window blinds and excessive trash in the yard.

For now, the Department of Homeland Security has taken the immigrants into custody.

Online: azdps.gov/information/Drop_Houses


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