Squatters terrorizing NYC neighborhood flee after being outed by The Post

A group of alleged drug dealing squatters who terrorized a working-class Bronx neighborhood for months appear to have finally fled.

But residents of Bedford Park may not be totally free from trouble just yet.

The NYPD raided the Valentine Avenue home just two weeks after The Post highlighted how the squatters had become the scourge of the once quiet area, with dope deals, prostitution, loud music and harassment of anyone who walked past their front porch.

Cops allegedly found synthetic cannabinoid, crack residue and a round of ammunition at 3059 Valentine Ave., police told The Post.

Frank “The Tank” Castillo, who according to court records had been squatting in the home since October and had been arrested on drug charges in April, was arrested the day of the raid for harassment, records show.

Castillo and his crew haven’t been seen since, a source said.

“Besides the (Post) article, we feel this was accomplished because residents in the neighborhood made calls to 311 & 911,” one nearby building manager wrote in an email to tenants.

The squatters, who were able to open a Con Edison account to prove their residency, were able to stay for nearly 10 months in part because of a historic backlog in the city Housing Courts, brought on by pandemic protections for those who cannot pay rent. A lawyer for the owner of the Valentine Avenue home said they’re working with the Bronx District Attorney’s office in a bid to keep the squatters away for good.

“We are hopeful that this new case will get us before a housing judge quicker than the squatting case we commenced previously, since the illegal sale of narcotics and nuisance behavior proceedings are actually getting court dates at this point in the pandemic,” said attorney Melissa Levin, of the firm Horing, Welikson, Rosen & Digrugilliers.

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