More than a dozen squatters were busted living in a Florida motel the county is trying to renovate to become a homeless shelter. Alachua County Sheriff's deputies arrested 19 people Thursday evening at the former Budget Inn building at 4401 S.W. 13th St. in Gainesville, local media reported. Deputies had responded to the motel more than 30 times this year, but this is the first time officials charged an individual, WCJB reported. "This time there were a lot of people there, a lot of damage to the facilities. They had broken into the utilities. There was an enormous amount of drug paraphernalia and alcohol," county spokesperson Mark Sexton said. "It was just a really atrocious scene that we found." 'SERIAL SQUATTER' FRESH OUT JAIL UP TO HER OLD TRICKS AS FORMER RESIDENTS PAY THE PRICE: OWNER The 19 people charged are accused of causing damage to the building, engaging in drug activity, and allegedly stealing electricity. Alachua County purchased the building in 2020 for $2 million and intended the building serve as a homeless facility. The building has been in a holding pattern since, as officials wait for the government to approve funding. ALLEGED 'SERIAL SQUATTER' FLEES HOME BUT LEAVES BEHIND TRASH, PUTRID STENCH: OWNER "We wish we could get to this project right now. We are all chomping at the bit to get this project done, but federal, state, county it’s complicated and we have to follow all the rules," said Sexton, WCJB reported. The outlet reported the county is waiting on $3 million in funding to begin production on the motel in order for it serve as a homeless shelter. It will be completed in roughly six months once the budget is finalized. SQUATTERS TURNING FLORIDA NEIGHBORHOOD INTO 'NIGHTMARE' AS COPS LEFT 'HANDCUFFED': REPORT CLICK HERE FOR MORE US NEWS All windows are being boarded and a security guard was hired to oversee the property. "While we're going through the process with the state we can't afford any more damage to this place because the more damage there is, the more this renovation is going to cost," Sexton said, according to USA Today.
31 Ekim 2023 - 00:20
More than a dozen squatters busted after illegal motel takeover: cops
A sheriff's office in Florida arrested 19 people caught allegedly trespassing and squatting at a motel intended to serve as homeless shelter.
31 Ekim 2023 - 00:20