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Seven alleged human smugglers arrested

Oct. 21, 2007 at 1:31 PM

PHOENIX, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A recent raid of a Phoenix home resulted in the arrest of seven people accused of smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States, police said.

Authorities said 54 people were detained at the suspected drop house Friday and evidence at the site indicated several immigrants were likely tortured or beaten by the alleged smugglers, The Arizona Republic said Sunday.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla said evidence indicated one immigrant had his head shoved into a toilet with a plastic bag over his head.

"Toilets were filled with human waste and buckets were dispersed throughout the house as makeshift toilets," he said. "There was very little evidence of food in the home."

The spokesman also told the Republic the raid marked the third time in the past week police have converged on a site thought to be part of the same human smuggling ring.

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