MIAMI -- Dozens of law enforcement officers on Wednesday descended on a Southwest Miami-Dade assisted living facility, which police said was operating without proper licenses and under the care of workers who allegedly did not have the required medical credentials.
Miami-Dade police and other local and state regulators arrived at the facility, located at SW 122nd Avenue and 207th Street, around 10 a.m. to execute a search warrant.
One arrest was made. Otto Egea, 65, was charged with operating an assisted living facility without a license and driving with a suspended license.
Police said at least 30 people have been known to live at the facility, which was said to be in a building not meant to hold that many residents at the same time.
"It's an assisted living facility that has been running without license and that can lead to disaster. These employees here are not properly trained and do not have the proper certification necessary," said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a police spokesman.
"We are cracking down because it is a good thing to have awareness that these things are happening in our communities."
He said the facility was not certified by the state and did not have a license to operate as an assisted living facility.
"That's why it's important we put a stop to this for the well-being of the people inside as well. They are not getting the proper medical care and not getting proper nutrients. They are not meeting the guidelines for people to be safe."
Zabaleta said they know who owns the facility and will be investigating further.
He said the building exterior appears to be a single-family home but the interior had been transformed into something resembling a motel with multi-occupancy possible, complete with bunk beds.
"It's got multiple rooms sub-divided within the home," Zabaleta said. "There's a lot of things (in there) that are set for these individuals to live."
Kimberly Baker, who is a resident at the facility said, "It's very disturbing to me. This is upsetting to me."
"We love it here. We love it here," she added. "It's not bad. It's nice if you can go and see for yourself."
"I am hoping I can stay here because I have been here for so long you know."
Still, a neighbor said, "I think this was crazy...this is not correct."
Miami-Dade police said it is not clear what the future of this ALF is and if there will be any arrests.
They have been interviewing the residents and will be speaking with the owner.
They urge county residents to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers if they see anything suspicious at an ALF in their neighborhood.
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