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Three Hilltop homes boarded up by city after reported illegal drug activity

65 N Chase shutdown.JPG
The City Attorney's office filed three motions for a temporary restraining orders to board up 65 North Chase Avenue, 437 South Warren Avenue and 589 South Warren Avenue. (Columbus Division of Police)

For the first time, Columbus city officials shut down three suspected drug houses in one day using emergency court orders. The home were all in the Hilltop neighborhood, with two on the same street.

The City Attorney's office filed three motions for a temporary restraining orders to board up 65 North Chase Avenue, 437 South Warren Avenue and 589 South Warren Avenue.

“It took a lot of planning and coordination to take out three drug operations in rapid-fire succession in one afternoon,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein. “Clearly we’re continuing to deal with a serious drug epidemic, especially on the west side, where five out of the nine drug houses we’ve boarded-up this year have been located.”

According to court documents Columbus police responded to 65 North Chase Avenue more than 50 times in the last two years for complaints that included domestic violence, suicide attempts, shots fired, theft, drug overdoses, fighting, narcotics complaints, burglary, suspicious persons, a person with a knife almost “the size of a sword,” and other disturbances.

Columbus police responded to 437 South Warren Avenue more than 30 times for complaints ranging from drug trafficking to domestic violence and a person with a gun. On May 9, officers arrested seven out of 18 people after a search warrant was executed.

In April 2018, officers responded to 589 South Warren Avenue on a report of a drug overdose. The victim was found lying on the bathroom floor with a syringe and tie-off cord nearby.

According to the press release, in April this year, officers arrested an individual who had just bought crack cocaine from someone at the home who the individual identified as “Josh.” The individual also told officers that it was common for buyers to exchange guns for drugs, and that “Josh” would then sell the guns.

“We greatly appreciate the court granting all three of these emergency board-up orders on the same day,” said Assistant City Attorney Zach Gwin, who is assigned to Police Zone Three on the west side. “We especially want to thank the Columbus Division of Police and the other city personnel for their highly coordinated efforts to board up these houses without incident all on the same afternoon.”

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