March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024
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Florida police dismantle squatters’ booby-trapped ‘meth island’

Florida officials have begun dismantling structures on an island known for its drug use that was overtaken by squatters.

“There was a huge safety concern for us about whoever would be on that island with those types of structures out there,” Port Orange Police Det. Mike Wallace told The Daytona Beach News Journal. 

The area, dubbed “Meth Island” by social media users, is dotted with various handmade wooden structures, including an elaborate four-story treehouse and other huts made out of what appear to be old lumber and tree branches, according to video recently posted by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. 

The squatters also installed a trampoline and appeared to be in the middle of constructing a pool on the island, which is located near the Dunlawton Bridge in Port Orange. Some of the squatters even outfitted islands nearby with booby traps to prevent others from visiting, which authorities say they will take care of in the future. 

SQUATTERS TAKE OVER FLORIDA ‘METH ISLAND,’ BUILD ELABORATE TREEHOUSE AND INSTALL TRAMPOLINE

“There is evidence of drugs that have been done over there, alcohol that’s been done,” Kevin Pedri, a South Daytona police lieutenant, told The Daytona Beach News Journal. 

Last week, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office assisted members of the Port Orange Police Department, South Daytona Police Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife by posting no trespassing signs at the squatter camp

ARMED FLORIDA MAN CONFRONTS SQUATTER WHO TOOK OVER HOUSE WHILE HE WAS OVERSEAS: POLICE

TRESPASS NOTICE You are ordered to vacate the island within 48 hours,” signs posted by Florida law enforcement on the island state. 

Police officials are explaining they did so because the squatter activity and makeshift buildings are dangerous, to both the people who live there and local residents, during hurricane season.

ARMED FLORIDA MAN CONFRONTS SQUATTER WHO TOOK OVER HOUSE WHILE HE WAS OVERSEAS: POLICE

“All that stuff is going to get thrown all over the Intracoastal and damage other boats, or who knows how far some of the wood can launch and possibly damage other property as well,” Pedri told The Daytona Beach News Journal. 

The structures, which police believe are made out wood “probably stolen from docks” or scavenged, also threaten the island’s mangrove population, which play a pivotal role in protecting the island during storm surges. 

ARMED FLORIDA MAN CONFRONTS SQUATTER WHO TOOK OVER HOUSE WHILE HE WAS OVERSEAS: POLICE

Police also lamented that the presence of a trampoline and elaborate treehouse could entice kids to play in the area.

“All it does is (draw attention) for young kids to go over there,” Pedri said. “[They go] to these islands and start having fun, and then you start getting the alcohol in there, and they are jumping down on these trampolines – that’s when an accident is going to wind up happening.”

No one was present on the island when authorities posted the no trespassing signs last week. Officers have not yet returned to this island, due to weather issues, but plan to do so in the near future, according to The Daytona Beach News Journal.

In the meantime, the local public works department has already begun dismantling some of the structures to “clean the island and put it back to its natural” state, according to Pedri. A spokesman with the Port Orange Police Department told Fox News Digital that the islands are being monitored by numerous local agencies. 

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