SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Three men are being held on $1 million bond after they were arrested and charged with kidnapping illegal immigrants and then holding them for ransom.

The San Marcos Police Department says Mason Castillo, 20, Robert Cruz, 19, and Jeremiah Villareal, 19 have each been charged with smuggling of persons, engaging in organized criminal activity, and aggravated kidnapping for ransom or reward.

Investigators say a group of at least 10 illegal immigrants were kidnapped while being smuggled to Austin from Mexico. Police say the group was taken to a home in San Marcos in August, at which point they were forced to stay until thousands of dollars were paid to the suspects.

SMPD says cellphone data and surveillance footage helped identify the suspects once police figured out which house the victims were held in. Police say they found evidence at the home that lines up with the accounts given by the victims.

Castillo, Cruz and Villareal were booked into the Hays County Jail.

Investigators say it took around four weeks to secure warrants for the suspects.

This is a developing story and KTSA News will pass along more details when possible.

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