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Illegal migrant shelter in the Bronx shut down by New York City

Illegal migrant shelter inside Bronx business shut down
Illegal migrant shelter inside Bronx business shut down 01:58

NEW YORK -- A vacate order hangs on the door at 305 East Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx on Thursday after inspectors said they found migrants living in hazardous conditions inside the business. 

Neighbors said they noticed e-bikes improperly stored and large volumes of people entering and exiting the two-story building for weeks. 

"By putting them in illegal places like this, it's only going to cause more problems," said Kohrelle Brisco. 

New York City officials said a tip led them to the location on Wednesday when they found bikes, batteries, space heaters, extension cords and hot plates, plus 34 beds on the first floor and 11 in the cellar. 

A man who was living there told CBS New York he didn't know the building was in violation. 

The owner of the building said he also owns the Queens mattress store where dozens of migrants were found living in a basement illegally on Tuesday.

Thursday, Ebou Sarr said the migrants had nowhere else to go. He previously said he felt compelled to help fellow Africans when their 30-day shelter stays expired. 

The Adams administration denies his claims. 

"They're offered the opportunity to relocate, right? To go to any other city in the United States where we will pay for them to go. And if they continue to need a bed, then we will find a bed as soon as possible and we will assign them to the bed," said Camille Joseph Varlack, the mayor's chief of staff. 

The owner of the Bronx property was issued two violations in addition to two for the Queens incident. He could face a maximum penalty of $100,000. 

The Office of Emergency Management said the displaced migrants were taken to a migrant services center run by the city. 

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