An East Hampton Town resident was charged with offenses ranging from overcrowding to having no building permit after local officials executed a search warrant on his home Monday night and found the single-family house allegedly being used as a multifamily dwelling.
The homeowner, identified as Manuel Guerrero, 54, of 2 Amagansett Drive East, was charged with having no building permit, no certificate of occupancy, converting a single-family home to a multifamily home and overcrowding.
Guerrero had been charged with similar violations in 2006 after a search warrant was issued on the same property, according to a news release issued by East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell. The disposition of that case was not available, but Assistant Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski said in a telephone interview that Guerrero was found guilty and paid a fine.
Cantwell said Guerrero, who was at the house when the search warrant was executed at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, was issued a summons to appear in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Nov. 23 on the latest charges.
Seven other people, who Sendlenski said were tenants in the house, are also being charged with town code violations related to multifamily occupancy in connection with the continuing investigation. They were identified only as Trasito Auquilla, Ana Dsorio Marquez, Millar Cauama, Sandra Contrvas, Antionio Matailo, Carlos Calle and Rina Alvarado.
Sendlenski said the exact charges against the tenants were still being finalized, but he said that although they are tenants they are considered to also be responsible for occupying a house that was converted illegally.
"They had to have had knowledge of it -- the house was cordoned off into individual apartments," Sendlenski said. He added, however, "Obviously the owner was most culpable."
None of those charged could be reached for comment.
Cantwell said the code enforcement officers, assisted by the town police department, executed the search warrant after it was reported that the four-bedroom house had been converted to a multifamily residence and was overcrowded.
Officers were on site for about 45 minutes, examining the house and grounds. They determined that the house had numerous conversions from the originally approved configuration of a four-bedroom house designed for one family, Cantwell said.
The officers found that people were residing in the basement and garage, and that a laundry room, dining room and office had been converted to bedrooms, Cantwell said. He added the conversions changed the occupancy to a house with eight bedrooms, doubling the approved number of sleeping areas.
Cantwell said the continuing investigation may result in additional charges.
The house is one of several single-family houses in East Hampton that officials found recently to have been converted to accommodate at least double the intended occupancy or to be operating as part of a business or a resort.