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House endorses bill to combat ‘drop houses’

The Arizona House gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would make it a felony to use forgery to rent or buy a home to be used as an immigrant-smuggling “drop house.”

A violation would be a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The bill cleared the Senate in February and awaits a formal vote by the full House after Tuesday’s action.

Drop houses are homes, apartments or motel rooms where immigrant smugglers hide their customers after they have crossed the border but before they are sent to destinations across the country.

Police have discovered dozens of drop houses in metropolitan Phoenix in recent years.

The city is the nation’s busiest hub for immigrant smuggling.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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