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Posted: 3/17/2006 4:04:51 PM EDT
Check out the blurb near the bottom about the:

SKS assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition

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HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Front page

March 17, 2006, 2:18PM

Feds charge 3 in 'drop house' gunbattle
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Federal charges were filed today against three Mexican nationals in connection with a "drop house" gunbattle Tuesday morning in southwest Houston.
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Jose Monsivais-Muniz, 25, Jesus Gomez-Ibarra, 21, and Roberto Carlos Lopez-Dominguez, 30, have been charged with harboring undocumented immigrants.

Thirteen undocumented immigrants were being held in the home at 9011 Sandpiper in the Larkwood subdivision just north of Brays Bayou. The residence apparently was used as a "drop house" for stowing illegal immigrants until their smuggling fees were paid.

Gomez-Ibarra and Lopez-Dominguez are scheduled to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge today for an initial appearance. They will remain in custody, federal officials said.

Monsivais-Muniz, who was wounded during the shooting, remains in a local hospital and in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcment officials.

Tuesday morning's gunbattle, which led to the arrests of at least 21 men suspected of being illegal immigrants, appeared to be one more battle in a growing turf war between smugglers, authorities said Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, ICE responded to an HPD request for assistance in a hostage situation.

According to the complaint, people were heard arguing and screaming; several vehicles were seen leaving the location; shots were heard and someone had possibly been shot. Three men, one of whom had apparently been shot and was being carried, had been seen crossing the footbridge of Brays Bayou, located behind the home, and were seen walking on Bob White Street.

The complaint said HPD found, identified and detained the three men. The wounded man was identified as Monsivais-Muniz, who had been shot several times and was bleeding heavily from his right side and buttocks area. He was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

One of the other two men was identified as Gomez-Ibarra.

HPD officers secured the scene and rounded up a number of undocumented immigrants inside the house. ICE later apprehended 21 undocumented immigrants, in addition to the three charged today.

There was a large amount of blood on the floor inside near the front door and bullet holes in the front door. HPD officers also seized an SKS assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition.

The case is being investigated by ICE and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay Hileman and Doug Davis.
Chronicle reporter Cindy Horswell contributed to this report.

HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Front page

This article is: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3730961.html
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