COLUMBUS (WCMH)–The Columbus’ city attorney, Zach Klein, requested an emergency court order to shut down property in order to stop drug trafficking.
Klein’s office filed a motion for an ex parte temporary restraining order in the Franklin County Environmental Court against 672 E. Third Ave., which is located less than half a mile from the Milo Grogan Community Rec Center and a neighborhood community garden. Immediately following a hearing earlier today, officers evacuated the premises and enforced the court order to board it up.
“It’s not often that you see drug dealers coordinating their work schedules, but it’s a clear indication of the high volume of traffic at this location,” said Klein. “We’re thankful that the court granted us this emergency order and we’ll continue to use our legal authority to shut down dangers to our community such as this property.”
According to a news release from Klein’s office, a security system was seized on Aug. 26 during a search warrant and the footage showed hundreds of drug transactions.
There were seven other times authorities were at this building since the month of May:
May 28: police responded to the premises after receiving several reports of shots fired and confirmed that the house had been struck by gunfire. Officers arrested one individual who had several outstanding arrest warrants.
July 16: officers executed a search warrant at the premises, seizing illegal drugs, including a pint of Promethazine, a semi-automatic weapon, several rounds of ammunition, and $2,310 in cash. One suspect was arrested.
July 18: Police received three reports of a person with a gun at the premises.
July 24: An officer conducting undercover surveillance observed 15-20 people walk up to the premises and make hand-to-hand drug transactions.
July 29, Aug. 14, and Aug. 19: the same undercover officer observed several more illegal drug transactions.
The property came under investigation in January 2020 when officers were dispatched there for a report of shots fired and they recovered 9 mm shell casings.
“The pattern of violence and crime at this property posed an ongoing threat to the area, especially given its close proximity to several important community assets,” said Assistant City Attorney Heidy Carr, who is the Zone Initiative attorney assigned to Police Zone Five, which includes the Milo-Grogan area. “We greatly appreciate the court granting the order and want to thank the Columbus Division of Police for their diligent work in helping us build our case.”