MIAMI(CBS4) – Miami Police and other agencies raided a notorious mobile home park that has had more than 2,000 calls for help in the past five years because of crime and where authorities say living conditions are “intolerable.”
Miami Police, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and several other agencies went inside the Paradise Mobile Home Park at 2750 NW South River Drive on Tuesday in an effort called “Operation Life Safety” that is aimed at improving health and safety conditions for the people living in the park’s 100 mobile homes.
“Conditions emanating from this site and conditions at this site are proven to be intolerable for the people here and the surrounding community,” said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
“Reducing the crime,” Griffith told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “That’s the key. And improving the environmental conditions as well.”
Griffith showed D’Oench a series of dozens of photographs showing deplorable conditions.
“A lot of these buildings are in horrendous shape,” said Griffith. “There are people being subjugated in poor housing conditions. There are issues of jerry rigging the electricity and that’s why the fire department has people here as well.”
Police Major Delrish Moss said the park has been one of the department’s “highest repeat calls for service locations.”
“Since January, 2008, there have been 2227 calls for police services,” he said, adding “not to mention the fact that there are environmental issues and health concerns. What we are going to do is inspect and look at every trailer and every structure and figure out if they are safe.”
Griffith said the State Attorney’s Office had been studying problems at the Mobile Home park for the past few weeks.
“It has to be cleaned up now,” said Griffith.
Moss said the 2,227 calls for service ranged from robberies, burglaries, vehicle thefts, property thefts and drug-related incidents to shots fired calls, murders, kidnappings, sexual assaults, drug arrests and search warrants.
According to Moss, other “lower priority calls” for service included 911 hang-ups, breech of peace incidents, domestic disputes, crisis intervention requests, abandoned vehicles, parking disputes and other violations of the city and county codes.
Moss said a recent inspection found many un-permitted additions, porches and openings to the frames of mobile homes.
“This roof right here is being held up by a single pole,” said one investigator as he look at the tiny one-room mobile home that Elueterio Roman Lopez has lived in for the past 17 years.
Through a translator he told D’Oench that he paid $560 a month for rent. He said he had nowhere else to live and welcomed “Operation Life Safety.”
“Anything that will improve conditions,” Roman Lopez said.
Other residents and former residents spoke to D’Oench about the conditions at the Mobile Home Park.
“There is crack dealing and hookers and undesirable people,” said Daniel Pell. “I live here because the economy is hard and I am short of money. I have been here for 15 years. I hope this clean up will help. But I am cautious. I will believe it when I see it.”
Former park resident Billye Samuel told D’Oench, “Besides drug dealing, they sell beer. They sell their lives to get the drugs.”
Samuel said after six years, she moved out of the Paradise Mobile Home Park because she feared for her safety and she was tired of living there.
“People kept beating the heck out of me,” she said. “I lived there because it was all I could afford.”
Building code officials have many items to look into.
In a news release, Moss said that “Observations have included unsafe electrical and plumbing work, gasoline tanks, liquid propane tanks, electrical meters and cut-off switches and anchoring and tie downs. Additionally, improper discharge of drainage and sanitary pipes to the Miami River have been observed.”
“Combustible storage materials were found in front and in the rear of many homes as well as a large number of unlicensed and unrestrained dogs and the list goes on,” said the release.
Documents from the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations list Raul L. Nunez and Michael A. Nunez as the managers of the Paradise Mobile Home Park. Their address was listed as 12345 S.W. 117th Court in Southwest Miami-Dade. That is the address for a storage facility and when D’Oench stopped at that site, no one was there.
CBS4 was not able to reach Raul or Michael Nunez for comment.