INS Ransom Suspect to Be Deported, Not Tried

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A man arrested on suspicion of holding 74 illegal immigrants for ransom in a South Los Angeles home will be deported instead of prosecuted, authorities said Thursday.

The 22-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly tried to blend in with the group of immigrants.

The INS presented the case for prosecution, but federal prosecutors decided not to file charges because there wasn't enough evidence, said Thom Mrozek of the U.S. attorney's office.

Because two of the immigrants had chicken pox, the group will be quarantined for about 15 days, said Sharon Gavin of the INS. Immigrants told INS officials that three smugglers fled the home.

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