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3 Moms Arrested After 11 Children Found in ‘Filthy’ New Mexico Compound

2018-08-06 22:44
The three mothers of the 11 malnourished children found living in a filthy New Mexico compound were arrested and charged along with two men described as heavily armed” Muslim “extremists” after authorities raided the property in search of a 4-year-old boy. Five people, including three mothers, were charged with child abuse after officials rescued 11 children from a makeshift compound in New Mexico, according to local officials. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, in an Aug. 4 statement, said that officials found the “occupants were most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief.” The children, who were aged 1 to 15, looked like “third-world-country refugees” and had only “dirty rags for clothing,” said Hogrefe. Three women who are believed to be the mothers of the 11 children were arrested. They were identified as Jany Leveille, 35; Hujrah Wahhaj, 38; and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35. “I believed this would most likely be the path that we would take and stand by my original decision to bring charges after CYFD investigators had an opportunity to conduct their independent investigation, which included interviews and obtaining information such as health and medical needs of the children from the three mothers,” said Hogrefe on Aug. 6. Two males, Siraj Wahhaj and Lucas Morton, were also arrested in connection with the incident. No Food, Water, Shoes The sheriff said that only a few potatoes and a box of rice were found in the “filthy” compound. Officials described it as a travel trailer buried in the dirt, covered in plastic, and ringed with tires. There was no plumbing or electricity on-site. The people in the compound had “no shoes, personal hygiene, and basically dirty rags for clothing,” Hogrefe said. “We all gave the kids our water and what snacks we had–it was the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen,” he continued. The search of the property took place as part of a search for 4-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, who vanished last year. His mother reported him missing after Siraj Wahhaj took the child to a park in Clayton County, Georgia, and did not return home, according to The Albuquerque Journal. The boy wasn’t located at the New Mexico compound. Hogrefe said the move to search the facility came after a Georgia investigator forwarded a message to him in which someone at the compound told another person that people there were starving and needed water. “The message sent to a third party simply said in part, ‘We are starving and need food and water,’” Hogrefe said. “I absolutely knew that we couldn’t wait on another agency to step up and we had to go check this out as soon as possible.” Wahhaj, meanwhile, was armed with an “AR-15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket” when police arrived, according to Hogrefe. Credit: CNN