Local law enforcement assisted agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Monday.
Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington said Tuesday his office received an agency assist call from ICE Monday at 10 a.m. ICE agents had come upon 70 people from Guatemala and El Salvador — including eight who tried to flee the scene — outside Roswell.
The people found, who ranged in age from 17 to 24, had been held in a shed.
Officers from Hagerman and Dexter also responded to the call, Herrington said.
“We did get there and see that it was not people attacking and going after ICE, they were thankful because they were rescued,” he said.
The people had been forced to take off their shoes when they were being held and were ill-fed.
Herrington added that the eight people who ran from agents did so because they wanted to escape from the shed.
The people found were fed and later transported to a federal courthouse, though Herrington did not say where that courthouse was located.
Herrington said he did not know for sure if anyone was arrested, but that one individual was taken away by ICE agents, separately from the rest.
A spokesperson for the ICE Department of Public Affairs was contacted on Tuesday and said that a media request from the Roswell Daily Record about the operation was being processed, but the information was not received before press time.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at email@example.com.