Police Sweep Reveals "Uninhabitable" Conditions at Miami Mobile Home Park

Ron Book, chairman of the Miami Dade Homeless Trust calls the Paradise Mobile Home Park, on 2700 block of NW South River Drive, uninhabitable.

By Myriam Masihy
|  Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013  |  Updated 3:31 AM EDT
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Miami Police went door to door Tuesday during a sweep of a mobile home park on NW South River Drive which Miami-Dade Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book calls uninhabitable. Maj. Delrish Moss spoke about calls police have received since 2008. Ed Griffith from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and Teresa Rocha, a single mother who is being forced out, also spoke about the area.

Miami Police went door to door Tuesday during a sweep of a mobile home park on NW South River Drive which Miami-Dade Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book calls uninhabitable. Maj. Delrish Moss spoke about calls police have received since 2008. Ed Griffith from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and Teresa Rocha, a single mother who is being forced out, also spoke about the area.

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Miami Police went door to door Tuesday during a sweep of a mobile home park on South River Drive.

Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust calls the Paradise Mobile Home Park, on the 2700 block of NW South River Drive, uninhabitable.

"Whether it's the direct wiring into powerlines or it's all of the sewer and sludge; people urinating and defecting in buckets and then throwing it over fences," he says.

Among the residents found living there is a woman who says someone would get her stoned by handing her a "stem" which police explain is something similar to a crack pipe.

The images of a Miami not usually on display were uncovered Tuesday when cops and inspectors went trailer to trailer looking for unsafe structures and criminal activity.

The sweep comes after a slew of calls to police. Maj. Delrish Moss says they have received 2,227 calls since 2008. Moss says that number includes "everything from kidnapping to murder, drugs, prostitution, warrants, you name it, it's a wide laundry list of things that have occurred here. "

NBC 6 captured images of the only woman arrested during the sweep. In her possession police say they found drug paraphernalia and an open can of beer but perhaps more troubling than the criminal activity are the conditions in which people like 96-year-old Eleuterio Roman Lopez live.

A single post holds up his home and with no working toilet he goes to the restroom in a bucket.

"Those who are not involved in criminal activity are being victimized by what is going on next to them," says Ed Griffith from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

Yet many don't see it that way. When signs went up deeming their homes unsafe they were sad to leave their rickety trailers. Teresa Rocha, a single mother being forced out says she will have to go to a shelter with her 10-year-old son and only take her clothing. She tells NBC 6 she didn't notice the crime and that her home wasn't really that bad.

According to the Homeless Trust, 11 registered sex offenders were found living in this park, too close to a school. No word on where they will be going but the other residents that were forced out will be assisted by the Homeless Trust.

The sweep was dubbed Operation Life Safety.

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