1 caught, 1 at large in Port Chester immigrant case
Police are searching for one of two men who allegedly held illegal immigrants captive in Port Chester and threatened to cut off their fingers.According to police, the five South American men paid the smugglers $10,000 in exchange for shelter and other amenities in the United States. Authorities said they entered the country from Mexico earlier this month and stayed with the suspects in a Haseco Avenue home for five days.
"They were promised to be fed and work when they got here," said Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski. "According to at least one of the victims, they hadn't done any work and weren't given any food."
Krzeminski said the suspects even threw the men down stairs and beat them, eventually threatening to cut off their fingers if they didn't pay more money.A teenage girl said she saw the men, who were allegedly held in the attic, running from the home Saturday. They flagged down a driver who called 911. Two of the five victims went to police, however, the others ran away.
John Ernest Guerrero, 22, of Texas, is being held without bail in the case. Police say another man remains at large. The people who Guerrero was staying with maintain they had no idea he was holding people captive in their rented home.
Authorities have said prosecuting the case might prove harder than expected since New York's human trafficking law requires forced labor or forced sex, and neither of which occurred. Guerrero still faces a felony crime in the case.