- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - A federal magistrate judge has denied bond for five men accused of holding 115 people hostage in a small Houston house as part of a smuggling operation.

The five men, all from the Mexican state of Michoacan, appeared at a detention hearing Thursday in Houston federal court.

All are accused of using guns and threats to hold people for ransom to continue their illegal entry into the United States.

Department of Homeland Security agent Andres Garcia testified the people found last week crammed into the home of less than 1,300 square feet were stripped of their shoes and most of their clothing to keep them from escaping. They also were threatened with violence.

The five men, in the U.S. illegally, all face hostage-taking, weapons and conspiracy charges.

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