Three weeks ago I wrote an article titled ‘How do you fix the worst New Bedford streets? Start with the problem landlords’ discussing how the landlords are at the root of the problem when it comes to problem properties and neighborhoods in New Bedford.
North Front Street is a perfect example of a problem street where police seem to get called to often, especially for drug raids. Just search ‘North Front’ on NewBedfordGuide.com and you’ll see the criminal activity on that street. Click here to see for yourself.
358 North Front Street, a large multi-apartment facility, was recently raided by police for drugs for the third time in six weeks. Let’s look at each one.
Three weeks ago New Bedford police officers descended onto 358 North Front Street apartment 1N and arrested 10 people, to include a minor, on cocaine trafficking charges. Officers seized over 44 grams of cocaine, packaging materials, digital scales and $962 in cash.
A week later, New Bedford narcotics units did a drug sweep across the city arresting another 10 and, of course, back to 358 North Front Street heroin dealer was one of those busted. The addresses of those also busted in the raid? 540 North Front St. Apt. 1N and two other individuals that live in 358 North Front St. Apt. 1N.
Last week, yet another bust at 358 North Front St. Apt. 1N. New Bedford police executed two search warrants and raided 358 North Front St. Apt. 1N and apartment 1S raided. This is the third time in a month and a half that apartment 1 north has been raided. As result of the raid in apartment 1 north, detectives seized a little over 28 grams of cocaine, small amount of cash, packaging materials and scales.
What you’ll notice after reading each of the police reports is not only are some of the same names coming up, but more concerning is that different names keep coming up as the address of record. Dozens of people flow in and out making some of the apartments at the location simply drug dens.
One name that stands out is “homeless” Mark Salazar who has at least 87 adult arraignments, 53 convictions and arrested yet again. Apparently, having a long rap sheet and being arrested with a gun and cocaine wasn’t enough to convince judges that he needs to be thrown in jail and the key thrown away. For a homeless guy, he sure seems to be arrested at the same home over and over.
How does a landlord allow the same apartments to be filled with drug dealers over and over? Let’s look who owns this property. A quick property search on the City of New Bedford’s website shows:
Avitable J. Robert
40 Fortune Lane
Duxbury, MA 02332
If you search the address in Google:
Landlord Connection LLC
40 Fortune Lane
Duxbury, MA 02332
The Landlord Connection has a mixed reputation in New Bedford and per their website “serves Southeastern Massachusetts including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Brockton, Boston, and surrounding areas.”
When it comes to properties like 358 North Front Street, it seems interesting that the person that owns the property is based out of one of the wealthiest part of Massachusetts and clearly hasn’t done much to stop drugs being run out of the property.
Per City records, 358 North Front Street was purchased on 11 November, 2012 for $260,000. Details:
“This Parcel contains 0.091 acres of land mainly classified for assessment purposes as Apt 4-8 with a(n) Six plus Family style building, built about 1910, having Vinyl exterior, Rolled Composition roof cover and 6000 Square Feet, with 6 unit(s), 30 total room(s), 18 total bedroom(s) 6 total bath(s), 0 3/4 baths, and 0 total half bath(s).”
At $260,000, a standard 30-year mortgage would be around $1,200 per month. With six units you’d only need $200 per unit to break even. Rent them for $600 per month and a landlord would clear $2,400 a month in profit on a $1,200 mortgage. Buy the location with cash and you’d get all your money back in 6 years. Take this model, and you’ll see why there are 3-4 landlords in New Bedford that seem to own most of the “problem properties.” One landlord owns between 100-200 properties in New Bedford.
It’s your freedom to own as many properties in a city you don’t live in, but landlords have a responsibility to keep drug dealers out of their properties. It’s acceptable to rent to one drug dealer by mistake, but three in six weeks? Unacceptable and something needs to be done.