More than 90 people were found in a suspected smuggling case in Houston

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© Reuters. Police cordon surrounds Houston residence

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From Adrees Latif

HOUSTON (Reuters) police responded to reports of a kidnapping, saying on Friday they found more than 90 people in a two-story suburban Houston home and suspected it was used in a people smuggling operation.

The 90 victims, all but about five men, were removed from the house and provided with food and water, said Daryn Edwards, assistant chief of the Houston Police Department.

“They were basically in their basic clothes and everyone, everyone huddled together. So that’s what we saw when we walked in,” he said. No children were found among them.

At least some of the people showed symptoms of COVID-19 infection, including a fever and lack of taste or smell, Edward said. The victims told the police that they hadn’t eaten recently.

The victims were given personal protective equipment and were placed on white buses. It wasn’t immediately clear where they were being taken.

Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs agents were seen in the house along with local police and firefighters.

Edwards said no arrests had been made on the case as of Friday afternoon and declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

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