Rob Basichis
4 min readJun 9, 2021

My friend has a neighbor that turned his house into a crack den. He had crackheads in the house, crackheads in the backyard where he placed over ten old cars that the addicts could use for mini-privatized crack-pads. The neighbor, who is a career criminal, cooked meth on the kitchen stove in the middle of the night. An industrial smell of toxic chemicals floated through the air, permeating the senses. A smell that lies on the brain and cannot be easily purged or forgotten.

Things got worse. Violence brewed, fights broke out in the middle of the night, as the crackheads took to snorting meth. Threats were made and carried out. The mayhem of beat-downs, knifings, and the occasional exchange of gunfire. As can be expected, this behavior made a horrible impact on my friend and his neighbors, who lived in a small enclave somewhere off the beaten track. They soon banded together forming an alliance, to put an end to this crack-den offender. This little sawed-off Al Capone. They were determined to shut him down. They quickly enlisted help from the Police, Code Enforcement, the Constable’s Office, the FBI. They notified the Attorney General’s Office, which lifted its tired eye and took notice.

A major pursuit ensued, one that lasted over two years. SWAT and Metro battled it out with this guy until they finally nailed him on charges that would put him away for a very long time. Again, a career criminal, with a long sheet of offenses going way back in time, back to the mid-sixties. After he was locked away, Code Enforcement came and took everything off his property. The cars, stolen, merchandise, and all this worthless junk. The man was a hoarder, and there were piles on top of piles of junk lying in the backyard and around the perimeter of the house. The Electric Company was instructed to turn off the power. Then, the city condemned the house. Just when a feeling of calm hit the street, and the neighbors were making victory laps, the squatters came.

These were not just ordinary squatters. They were highly educated in property law. They quickly fenced in the backyard to secure a safe boundary. When the police came they hid behind the fences and shouted out they were given permission by the owner to stay in the yard. They couldn’t go into the house, because it was condemned. But, they could stay in the yard, and there was nothing the police…

Rob Basichis

I have written for several years, starting out as a journalist for a small business construction newspaper. I went on to write extensively about rela estate.