Suspect arrested after police find 29 undocumented immigrants held hostage in Houston house

The suspect could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

Immigration officials arrested one suspect in connection to a possible human smuggling operation in southwest Houston Thursday evening.

Most of the people told police they were being held against their will and had been locked in the house from a few days to a week.

Investigators said the victims were picked up in Brownsville, Texas, but originally came from other countries, such as Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Cuba, KTRK reported. Immigration officials concluded Friday the 29 people are all undocumented immigrants.

The 29 people were taken to the Ridgemont Elementary School gym for shelter, police said.

On Friday evening, immigration authorities arrested 36-year-old Mauro Dominguez-Maldonado, from Honduras for allegedly harboring the 29 individuals inside his Houston residence, U.S. attorney Ryan K. Patrick said in a release.

He is expected appear in court on Monday.

The criminal complaint alleges Dominguez-Maldonado was in charge of watching over the aliens and performing multiple tasks in furtherance of a human smuggling operation, according to the release.

If convicted, Dominguez-Maldonado could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.