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BCSO deputies rescue migrants in alleged human smuggling bust on the far southwest side

Salazar says smuggling victims were found as undocumented including women in their late teens to 30s.

SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County authorities say they uncovered a house involved with suspected stolen vehicles used for a smuggling operation Thursday evening on the far southwest side.

The bust occurred at three spots including a stash house located at 11290 Briggs Road. Sheriff Javier Salazar said it has been under surveillance because of recent violence in the area.

"Couple of weeks back we investigated a run and gun battle between two vehicles," he said. One vehicle rammed the other, just crazy stuff we are not used to seeing out there."

The BCSO Organized Crime Unit had been keeping close eye, and on Thursday they stopped an 18-wheeler and several vehicles in what deputies believe was a human smuggling event. Sheriff Salazar says several smuggling victims were found, including undocumented women ranging in age from the late teens to their 30s. 

BCSO officials detained 24 people, with nine of them found as smuggling suspects. 

"Some of the understanding that we have is what is that some of these people were being smuggled up as far as New York," he said.

Salazar says they also stopped five vehicles leaving the location, including an 18-wheeler. Deputies also seized about $60,000 in cash. 

The smuggling victims seemed to be in good health, according to Salazar.

The sheriff said the stash house was used to gut stolen cars. Deputies said they also found a saint inside that leads the sheriff to believe this is something bigger.

"Thee was a pretty sizeable altar of 'Santa Muerte' which is the patron which is considered to be the patron saint of drug smugglers. So, that leads us to believe this isn't just a human smuggling operation, this is drug smuggling operation as well."

This is a developing story. Check back with KENS5.com for updates. 

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