Southampton Village officials said they found 35 people living in a single-family house that neighbors have complained about for more than two years.
A search warrant executed on the morning of Aug. 13 led to the discovery at 118 West Prospect St., a house in foreclosure that officials said was dangerous and unsanitary. The village has since deemed it uninhabitable.
At 6:10 a.m., the Southampton Village Building Inspector Jonathan Foster, along with the Southampton Village Fire Marshal and the Southampton Village police executed the warrant.
More than 29 code violations, misdemeanors under the law, were issued to the tenant and occupant, Brian A. Cowell Jr., who is 32. Some of the violations included having no smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in the residence, having heating in an unauthorized accessory building, exceeding maximum occupancy while creating a hazard without proper egresses, unsafe electrical wiring and devices, and non-habitable sleeping spaces.
Photographs show the house was overflowing with items, in addition to people. The outside was rundown and even the pool was filled with junk.
Southampton Village Justice Court had issued the warrant on Aug. 12, police said. "The search warrant was issued to make search of the interior of the dwelling and accessory structures for violations of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, Residential Code of New York State, the Property Maintenance Code of New York State and the Southampton Village Code," the building inspector said in a statement on Thursday morning.
The property is owned by Wayne M. Swiderski and Susan F. Stubelek, and the banks on record are Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo, according to police. "Attempts to receive assistance from Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo have been unsuccessful," Foster said.
Cowell is slated to Southampton Village Justice Court on Aug. 26 at noon.