Illegal immigrant squatters released without bail after arrest on drug, gun charges near Bronx school

The squatters were charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and acting in a manner injurious to a child. Six of the eight were released.


Six of the illegal immigrant squatters who were arrested last week in the Bronx have been released without bail, sparking outrage and raising concerns about public safety in the neighborhood.

The eight squatters were apprehended on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and acting in a manner injurious to a child. On the property, located next to a school, authorities found a seven-year-old child in the basement.

Hector Desousa-Villalta, who allegedly brandished a gun on the property, was released on supervised release by a Bronx Criminal Court judge, despite the district attorney's request for bail set at $150,000 cash or $450,000 bond. Subsequently, five more squatters were released after their arraignments, according to the New York Post.

Despite the severity of the charges, the six individuals were granted release without bail, with law enforcement failing to clarify why some men were being held and others were let go. 

The lack of clarity surrounding the rationale behind some individuals' release while others remain in custody, despite facing identical charges, has added to the frustration. Neighbors, who had witnessed the troubling events unfold, expressed their frustration with the entire situation.

“The landlord wanted to evict them, but the NYPD told him no,”  one neighbor explained to the Post.

“Deport them!” a Spanish-speaking immigrant neighbor said about the illegal immigrants squatting. 

The controversy in New York comes as concerns regarding squatting have prompted legislative action elsewhere, notably in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a law restricting so-called "Squatter's Rights."

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