Metro

Six of NYC migrant squatter crew set loose without bail after gun and drug bust as neighbors detail chaos on Bronx block

Six of the eight gun-toting, drug-dealing migrant squatters busted last week in the Bronx were cut loose without bail — as frustrated neighbors said Tuesday that the unruly, noise crew brought nothing but trouble to the block.

The NYPD collared the squatters — who set up shop across the street from PS 56 inside a multi-family house on Hull Avenue in the borough’s Norwood section — after one of them pointed a 9 mm CZ pistol at someone on the property last Wednesday night, police officials said.

“I see all the gangsters and wannabe gangsters running around here,” one neighbor told The Post.

Surveillance footage of the migrant squatters arrested last week in the Bronx.
Six of the eight migrants were released without bail.

“I saw them all hanging out outside and knew they were up to something,” she added.

The alleged gunman, Hector Desousa-Villalta, was cut loose on supervised release Friday evening by Bronx Criminal Court Judge Eugene D. Bowen — despite the district attorney’s request that Bowen set bail at $150,000 cash or $450,000 bond, according to the DA’s office.

The same judge released two other squatters — Yoessy Pino Castillo and Jefferson Orlando Abreau — on their own recognizance after their Friday arraignments, according to the DA’s office and court records.

Bronx Criminal Court Judge Laurence Busching let three more — Yojairo Martinez, Johan Cardenas Silva, Yerbin Lozado-Munoz — walk on supervised released after their respective hearings, court records said.

Suspected gunman Hector Desousa-Villalta is free on supervised release. Obtained by NY Post
Jefferson Orlando Abreau was release on his own recognizance. Obtained by NY Post
Guns and drugs found in the Bronx home.

It’s not clear why some were remanded and some were cut loose — even though they all face the same charges of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance and acting in a manner injurious to a child.

Police said they found four guns on the property.

Desousa-Villalta and Javier Alborno, both of Venezuela, were allegedly found with handguns on them when cops arrived.

Then officers found two more guns — including a Springfield 9 mm pistol and a so-called “ghost gun” — as well as three extended magazines, a box of ammunition, a bag of ketamine and a bag of ketamine mixed with cocaine, police officials said.

There was also a 7-year-old child inside, although it’s not clear who the parents were.

Meanwhile, the squatters’ hapless neighbors said they were glad cops stamped out whatever grift the offenders were allegedly running.

Neighbor Alfred Munoz said the squatters would keep him up late at night with their loud motorbikes. James Keivom

Alfred Munoz, a neighbor who has lived in the area for more than five decades, said that one day the squatters just appeared at the house and wouldn’t leave.

“The landlord wanted to evict them, but the NYPD told him no,” Munoz claimed, adding that he was often frustrated by the fleet of noisy motorbikes they kept in the front yard.

“They wake me up at 2 a.m.,” he said.

Another neighbor told The Post that the group commandeered the house about a year ago and turned it into a noisy, high-traffic hub for whatever scheme they were running.

“Their operation was sophisticated, and looked like they knew what they were doing,” she said.

One neighbor told The Post that she witnessed the squatters assault somebody with a pipe. James Keivom

“One day, one of them was beating another man with a pipe,” she recalled, saying it appeared to be a debt collection of some sort.

“Deport them!” said Fausto Fermín, a Spanish-speaking immigrant who said he’s angry about the recent wave of criminal immigrants causing trouble in the city.

The neighbors certainly appear to have tried to tell the cops about the problem, lodging eight separate complaints in the last three weeks about the squatters blocking the sidewalk or the road.

But authorities didn’t clear the house out until last week’s gun incident — even though it sits across from PS 56, a public school filled with high achievers.

What you need to know about squatters in New York:

What are squatter’s rights in New York?

Squatters in New York state can claim a legal right to remain on a property without the owner’s permission after 10 years of living there. However, in New York City, a person only needs to be on the property for 30 days to claim squatter’s rights.

Why is it so hard to get rid of a squatter?

Squatters are allowed a wide range of rights once they have established legal occupancy, making it difficult to evict them.

How does someone become a squatter?

Some of the scenarios in which a person becomes a squatter include: a tenant refusing to pay rent, a relative of a former owner refusing to leave the property or even a stranger who entered the property and never left.

According to Manhattan-based law firm Nadel & Ciarlo, squatters must have a reasonable basis for claiming the property belongs to them and must treat the home as if they were an owner — such as doing yard work or making repairs.

How can a property owner get rid of a squatter?

A property owner must first send a 10-day eviction notice and then file a court complaint if the order is ignored. If approved by a judge, the owner can get a summons and have a sheriff evict the squatter.

Why does the law provide squatters with rights?

The law was designed to help prevent long-term tenants from getting evicted. New York City’s law was partially made in response to vacant and abandoned buildings that were becoming a blight on the city.

How can property owners protect themselves from squatters?

Owners should avoid keeping any properties vacant for an extended period of time. They should also make sure the building is secure, has adequate lighting and has surveillance cameras installed.

If a squatter does appear, owners should notify the police quickly before squatter’s rights are established.

“It’s usually littered with baggies and trash in the morning, every day,” John Pitt, a 69-year-old retired doorman who takes care of a neighboring house for its absentee owner, said of the sidewalks out front.

The yard functioned as a curbside drug service, he claimed, with motorbikes humming in and out with various deliveries to parts unknown.

“They go away for a minute or two, then they come back,” he told The Post.

The crew often blocked sidewalks or fire hydrants with cars they were working on, Pitt said.

“They had a car, under a tarp, with the front end dismantled,” Pitt said, adding that this habit drew the ire of the those who lived nearby.

The backyard of the Hull Avenue house. James Keivom

Syeda Ali, who owns the property with her husband, told The Post that she was “scared of the crime” happening on the property.

“My husband is a hard worker and is at work now,” she said Tuesday.

“He works long days and has to travel from home to work and to the rental in The Bronx … I’m scared. My husband goes back and forth and deals with crime and criminals.”

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