City attorney shuts down three known drug houses on the westside

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein recently announced that the city of Columbus secured emergency court orders against three residential properties that plagued their respective Hilltop neighborhoods with crime, drugs, and violence. A steady stream of community complaints helped prompt separate covert investigations by the Columbus Division of Police, which conducted undercover purchases of heavy narcotics at all three locations.

Klein filed separate complaints for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief in the Franklin County Environmental Court against 458 Nashoba Ave., 30 South Eureka Ave., and 140 Columbian Ave. Following the hearings, Columbus police enforced the court’s orders to evacuate and board-up the properties.

“Boarding up three properties in a row like this, in the same part of the city, is another stark reminder of the drug epidemic that continues to challenge our community,” said Klein. “Shutting these drug houses down is important and should hopefully provide some relief to the surrounding neighborhoods, but it’s also imperative for all of us to maintain focus on addressing the root causes of substance abuse and addiction as well.”

458 Nashoba Avenue

According to court documents, Columbus police received at least 20 calls for service at the location this year for incidents that included six narcotics complaints, four accidental drug overdoses, and four domestic violence reports. Attorneys for the city also noted that this property is located one block from a popular neighborhood park.

On March 5, police received a complaint of a stolen vehicle at the premises.

Police and paramedics responded to the premises for accidental drug overdoses on June 19, July 8, August 7, and Oct. 27. The domestic violence incidents occurred on Aug. 16, Sept. 14, Sept. 15, and Sept. 30.

Last month, narcotics detectives conducted a covert purchase of illegal narcotics from the premises.

30 South Eureka Avenue

On Jan. 24, 2021 officers and paramedics were dispatched to the premises for an accidental drug overdose. Later that day, officers returned for a reported domestic incident after an occupant of the residence stated that she was choked and pushed to the ground following her complaint about the drug activity occurring there.

On June 4, the city received a narcotics complaint that “known drug addicts and prostitutes” were coming and going from the premises throughout the day.

On July 5, narcotics detectives conducted a covert purchase of fentanyl. Two days later, the detectives executed a search warrant and found 13 individuals inside the premises while also recovering heroin, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, and ammunition scattered throughout the house.

140 Columbian Avenue

Columbus police have been called to this property 29 times in the last two years. The single-family dwelling is located next to the Glenwood Park and Recreation Center.

On March 21, 2019 officers responded to the premises after a man was shot in the head. The victim was found in the kitchen and pronounced deceased at the scene. Homicide detectives recovered a handgun and evidence of drug activity.

On Feb. 17, 2020, narcotics detectives conducted a covert purchase of crack cocaine and fentanyl. Multiple individuals appearing to be carrying firearms were observed during the undercover operation. Soon thereafter, detectives executed a search warrant, recovering a semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and 26 grams of an unknown white powder.

Paramedics were dispatched to the premises on reports of drug overdoses on July 3 and Oct.31, 2021.

“These three cases are but the latest examples of the tragic human element that’s typically involved in our drug-related nuisance abatement complaints,” said Assistant City Attorney Zach Gwin, who is the Zone Initiative attorney assigned to Police Zone Three on the city’s west side. “There are no easy solutions but we hope shutting these properties down will provide some reprieve for those living nearby.”

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