Two Guatemalan sisters were rescued Sunday from a residence north Douglas where they were held hostage for more than a week, law enforcement officials say.
The Douglas Police Department received a call late Sunday afternoon from a person reporting that two adult undocumented Guatemalan sisters were being held against their will, according to the criminal complaint.
While conducting surveillance in the area near the intersection of North Washington and 34th Street, authorities observed the door of a travel trailer open slightly, a woman’s hand emerged, and then the door shut. When authorities knocked on the door to the trailer, the door opened and they discovered the two Guatemalan sisters inside.
Alejandro Beltran, 34 and a U.S. citizen, faces federal charges for harboring illegal immigrants for the purpose of private financial gain, according to the release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The women claimed they were held captive for nine days and that Beltran forced them to contact their family in Boston to demand $10,000 for their release. Both women said they were physically assaulted by Beltran, who they said had just left the trailer in a taxi when the authorities arrived. Douglas police later found Beltran at a bar and he was taken into custody.
The case is being investigated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, with help from the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol. Additional charges may be filed.