8 people were arrested in connection to a human smuggling operation that victimized thousands of migrants.
A woman that goes by the name of Erminia Serrano Piedra, also known as “boss lady”, and 7 others allegedly ran the operation.
All eight of them were arrested in different states such as Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana. They were arrested for charges relating to transporting a non-citizen for monetary benefit while endangering human life.
The Department of Justice wants $2.3 million in property assets allegedly connected with the operation.
According to The Department of Justice the migrant victims are citizens of Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. They were transported to “stash houses” where the suspects forced them into suitcases and squeeze into pickup trucks, tractor trailers and even water tankers to get to the U.S.
“We have alleged that this particular organization was responsible for the smuggling of at least hundreds if not thousands of potential migrants,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite told reporters.
Piedra has a detention hearing set, and the others are appearing in court this week.