KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


TPD returns to abandoned camp off I-19

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 13:21:14-04

Social media continues to stir the debate over whether a secluded spot near I-19 and Valencia is an abandoned camp used for human trafficking. Tucson police returned to the site on Monday.

ICE released this statement to KGUN Tuesday:

Special agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Tucson became aware of this alleged report several days ago. We conducted a thorough search of the area in coordination with local law enforcement and found there is nothing there that would validate the report.    

Police cars rolled through the entrance gate of an abandoned cement plant throughout the morning. Officers stood outside the gates answering questions from the public. TPD tells us that they're working with code enforcement and the owner of the land to figure out how to secure and clean up the property. 

They're focused primarily on a secluded spot discovered last week by a homeless advocacy group, who insist it's been used as a human trafficking camp and want police to thoroughly investigate.
"Hundreds of evidence that can be collected. Investigate the property. Find out who's coming in and out," said Addie Rivera of Veterans on Patrol.

A documentary crew headed by former Navy Seal Craig Sawyer also examined the dusty discarded items and believe it could be a smugglers den. "I mean the signs point toward that. I couldn't tell you for sure," said "Frank", a former Navy Seal. 

Sawyer said, "It needs to be investigated."

Tucson Police added this information late Monday afternoon.
"Tucson Police Department officers, detectives, and command staff conducted a thorough inspection of the site, spoke to the reporting parties, and collected evidence. Based on the department's investigation to the point, there is no indication this camp is being used for any type of criminal activity, including human trafficking..Yesterday, an unsubstantiated assertion was made that a body might be buried at the site. A cadaver dog was used to check the area with negative results. The department has been in contact with the property owner who advised no one has permission to be on the property." 

We'll keep you updated if there are any developments.