Forty-four undocumented immigrants were discovered on a woman’s property in San Diego, California, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Some of the immigrants discovered on the property were found to have been living in a small shed, or stash house, NBC San Diego reported Monday.
Dania Olivero, 51, lived on University Avenue in the City Heights area of San Diego and was found to have been harboring the immigrants after neighbors reported that they had seen two cars delivering multiple people on the premises. Of those discovered, most were found to be undocumented Mexican immigrants while two reported that they were Guatemalan citizens.
Olivero had allegedly told police that she had invited people over to drink beer, according to the report. Upon arrival, officers found those on the property acting suspiciously with cans of beer reportedly left unopened. Border Patrol officers were then called by police.
Some of those harbored said that they had been locked in a shed located on the property and that the shed with dozens of others and the shed had no light or proper ventilation.
“Many were placed in a backyard shed, a shed without lighting, ventilation. A small shed with approximately 30 other individuals,” Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of Reactive Crime Section Mark Conover told the local news outlet.
California has some of the highest numbers of unauthorized populations in its state, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The state’s total “unauthorized population” is roughly 3,019,000. San Diego County has also been known to carry a large number of unauthorized immigrants and had reported the third largest unauthorized population in California.
In San Diego County alone, an estimated 207,000 people are unauthorized immigrants and around 162,000 people of Mexican origin make up the number of those undocumented, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
Olivero was charged with harboring the undocumented immigrants and could face up to 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $500,000 if she is convicted. All 44 illegal immigrants were taken into custody, according to NBC San Diego.