McALLEN, Texas (CN) – A Mexican national who reportedly greeted newcomers to his illegal immigrant stash houses by stating “Welcome to hell,” was indicted with an accomplice for harboring more than 100 undocumented people, federal prosecutors said.
Marcial Salas-Gardunio and his associate, Vicente Ortiz-Soto, also a Mexican citizen, were arrested May 2 after a 911 caller said he was being held against his will in an alien stash house in Edinburg, according to the Justice Department.
“Upon arrival at the scene, according to the indictment, authorities discovered more than 100 undocumented aliens of various countries of origin located in three separate buildings on the property,” prosecutors said in a statement.
“One building was chain-locked and several undocumented aliens who were locked inside the building were later treated for injuries.
“Statements taken from the undocumented aliens indicated they were allegedly threatened by Salas-Gardunio that they would be beaten or killed if they did not remain quiet. Additionally, witnesses indicated Salas-Gardunio stated ‘Welcome to Hell’ when undocumented aliens arrived at the residence.”
Salas-Gardunio and Ortiz-Soto, both 23, will be held without bond until their arraignment, prosecutors said.
The men were charged with conspiracy to harbor aliens and alien harboring.
If convicted they face up to 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 fines.