GREENFIELD -- Neighbors thought a Greenfield home was vacant, but Greenfield police say there was a lot going on inside - some of it illegal, and some of it just plain disgusting!
The home is a rental duplex on Loomis Avenue. Police say the upstairs unit was filthy, filled with waste and rotten food. They believe the downstairs unit was being used to sell drugs.
Police dashcam video captures a traffic stop on January 7th that led to troubling discoveries in the Greenfield duplex. 56-year-old Larry Howard was pulled over and arrested. After searching him, police found heroin in his underwear. Police say he'd been staying at the duplex on West Loomis Road. "Our department received a number of complaints in reference to drug dealing at this residence," Ray Radakovich with the Greenfield Police Department said.
When exercising a search warrant of the duplex, officers arrested three more people - two on warrants. A police report claims drug paraphenalia was out in plain sight, but it was what officers found in the vacant, upstairs unit that caught them off-guard. "The smell of cat urine was overwhelming. Fecal matter from animals all over the floor. Overflowing kitty litter boxes, decaying food," Radakovich said.
The City of Greenfield Health Department has declared the upstairs unit "uninhabitable" and "unsafe." In an email to FOX6 News, the Health Department director writes the unit was "full of clutter and rotten/decaying food."
Neighbors say they're stunned. "I knew it was run down and if you'd drive by it, there would be garbage out. The whole curb would be just garbage," neighbor Greg Wiza said.
The property's owner hadn't been to the property until recently, but says his tenants didn't alert him to any major problems. "I had a property manager. I was not aware that it was in that bad of shape. There was shuffling around with tenants, of who was paying rent, and I guess as a landlord, you don't question when they're paying the rent and everything on the outside seems fine," Brad Rozanski said.
Rozanski says he field a claim against the City of Greenfield last year, and in that claim, says the city targeted that land for redevelopment in the past, and at one point, even paid one of his tenants to breach his lease. Then, that redevelopment never happened. Rozanski says he's had a hard time finding quality tenants every since.