What you should know
Dozens of undocumented immigrants were found in a single-family home in Rockland County. The group was apparently transported by bus from New York City. The single-family Cape Cod-style home in New City is the center of the investigation. Here they found dozens of immigrants living in deplorable conditions. “We believe at least 31 people, maybe more, live in this house. Some of the most atrocious conditions we have ever seen,” said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann.
NEW YORK — Investigators in New York say a tip led them to dozens of undocumented immigrants inside a single-family home in Rockland County, who were apparently transported by bus to the residence from New York City.
The Cape Cod-style home in New City designed for a single family is the focus of the investigation. Here they found dozens of immigrants living in deplorable conditions.
“We believe at least 31 people, maybe more, live in this house. Some of the most atrocious conditions we’ve ever seen: totally overloaded electricity, extension cords everywhere,” said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann. “You can see that’s the garage, there are children on those mattresses in the garage. This would have been an absolute disaster if people had died in this house.”
In March, five people died in a deadly house fire in Spring Valley, where authorities cited the homeowner for code violations. Clarkstown officials obtained a search warrant for the New City home last Friday after receiving an anonymous tip and speaking to immigrants searching a local dumpster for clothing.
“We believe this is organized. We believe there are people behind this, according to statements that have been passed on to our inspectors and the police. These people were talking about some kind of chain,” Hoehmann said.
Authorities said the homeowner is listed as 29-year-old Shloima Koppel of Monsey. No one responded at the home on Monday. City attorneys went to court in the morning to obtain a temporary restraining order and the immediate eviction of anyone left in the New City home.
Koppel owns at least one other rental property in nearby Spring Valley. The county is now investigating all of Koppel’s properties and officials are demanding more.
“I call on the state attorney general to immediately open the investigation into the movement of human beings throughout this state. I believe it is human trafficking and I believe there is money involved and it is illegal,” said the county executive of Rockland, Ed Day.
Officials are trying to determine how big this effort may be. Meanwhile, the owner of the rental house is expected to be hit with a series of violations.
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