City attorney shuts down two problem properties on the westside


Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced that the city of Columbus took legal action against two westside drug houses known for narcotics sales and violent crime. Columbus police boarded up the property located at 351 Dakota Ave. in Franklinton after more than a year of complaints from neighbors and repeated narcotics sales and violence.

“Westside residents are stepping up to alert the city of violence and drug activity in their neighborhoods, and we’re doing everything we can to respond to their calls for action by cracking down on criminal behavior, disrupting the flow of narcotics into our streets, and shutting down problem properties that threaten public safety,” said Klein.

According to court documents, the Dakota Avenue property came to the attention of CPD in 2022, when neighbors began making complaints of drug dealing at the premises.

In August 2022, CPD received a call regarding a shooting at the premises. One witness described as many as 60 shots fired in the area, and when CPD arrived on scene, they found three individuals that had been shot. All were transported to Grant Hospital. Later that month, CPD detectives made several controlled purchases of crack cocaine and heroin at the premises. CPD then obtained and executed a search warrant at the property, where they recovered crack cocaine, miscellaneous pills, ammunition and cash.

In October, officers were dispatched to the premises on report of a robbery where the suspect grabbed the victim’s purse, seized her firearm, hit her over the head with it, then pointed the weapon at the victim and demanded money. In December, CPD began receiving more calls from neighbors that the “drug house (at 351 Dakota Ave.) is back in business,” and in January of 2023, CPD detectives made yet another controlled purchase of narcotics at the premises.

Klein announced that the city also secured a court order on a Westgate property located at 25 S. Sylvan Ave., which over the past year has come on CPD’s radar as a known drug house. In early February 2023, CPD detectives made a controlled purchase of fentanyl from a male inside the residence.

In recent weeks, the city has worked with the property owner to remove occupants from the premises and secure access against any use other than temporary access by the owner and the owner’s designees during daylight hours to prepare the property for sale.

“When violence, drugs, and criminal activity threaten the safety and security of our neighborhoods, the city is ready to step in and work with owners to fix the problem or take the necessary action to shut down these problem properties,” said Assistant City Attorney Zach Gwin. “When residents, law enforcement, and the city work together, we reduce crime and strengthen our neighborhoods.”

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