On Friday, Dec. 17, Pinal County Deputies discovered a drop house in Maricopa, according to a release issued by the department Wednesday.
Drop houses are intermediary points in the smuggling of immigrants who are not legally permitted to enter the United States. The drop houses are usually rented properties where coyotes, or human smugglers, stash immigrants while awaiting payments. These properties can range from actual houses to apartments or sheds, and are not limited to any one geographic area of the state.
Deputies were tipped off to the Maricopa drop house when two 911 calls were made to the department by an individual who sounded confused or extremely intoxicated.
The caller told the dispatcher he was in the State of Delaware, but the dispatcher was able to determine the cell phone call was coming from a residence in the 1800 block of Diamondback Way.
A deputy was sent to conduct a welfare check on the occupants of the residence. When he arrived, he could smell the odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside of the house, according to PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney.
When the deputy knocked on the front door, two Hispanic males jumped out the back window of the residence and fled on foot. One of the men was caught after a short foot pursuit and deputies located another five individuals inside the house.
All six admitted to being in the United States illegally from Mexico, according to Gaffney.