It took a single plea for help — “we are starving and need food and water” — to set off a chain of events that led authorities to a disguised compound beneath the secluded scrubland of northern New Mexico.
During a raid Friday morning, Taos County Sheriff’s deputies uncovered a squalid scene: Obscured by walls of tires, wooden pallets and other junk was a makeshift trailer belonging to two men, three women and 11 children ranging in age from 1 to 15. They were living off a few potatoes and a box of rice, and surrounded by a cache of guns, including an AR-15 rifle, officials said.
The two men were expected to be in court Monday to face 11 counts of child abuse, while the women were arrested Sunday and booked on similar charges as part of a wider investigation. The children were placed in protective custody with the state.
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