City takes legal action against two westside properties


On July 12, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced that the city of Columbus took legal action to shut down two drug houses on the city’s westside, securing preliminary injunctions in the Franklin County Municipal Court’s Environmental Division to shutter several properties known for drugs and violent crime. CPD then executed court orders to board up the properties located at 451 Josephine Ave. in the Hilltop and 112 S. Cypress Ave. in Franklinton.

“The city continues to prioritize cracking down on problem properties where criminals push deadly drugs into our streets and attract chaos and violence,” said Klein. “No parent, child or resident should have to worry about which houses or neighborhood blocks to avoid as they wait for the bus, send their kids to school, or go about their day. Our westside neighborhoods are stronger with these dangerous properties contained and those who threaten public safety held accountable.”

According to court documents, Columbus police responded to multiple domestic disturbances related to threats of violence at the Josephine Avenue property in 2022. In November of that year, CPD received a call that a tenant at the premises had turned the property into a drug house.

In May 2023, CPD received complaints of a drug deal at the premises as well as multiple reports of shots fired. Later that month, police received a complaint of suspected narcotics use, responded to the property on reports of a stolen vehicle, and were dispatched after receiving reports of an overdose on site.

The Franklinton property, on South Cypress Avenue, came to the attention of CPD in March 2023 when a concerned neighbor reported suspicious behavior at the premises. In April, CPD received a complaint from an individual claiming to have entered the property to purchase drugs, but that a property resident pulled a gun on him and forced him to leave the premises.

In May, CPD conducted multiple controlled purchases of crack cocaine and fentanyl from the premises. Later that month, CPD detectives obtained and executed a search warrant at the premises, where officers recovered crack cocaine, cocaine, two semi-automatic handguns, various magazines and ammunition, and stolen property.

In June, CPD responded to multiple reports of burglaries in progress at the premises and other disturbances on the property.

“Residents, families, and business owners in Franklinton, the Hilltop and every Columbus neighborhood deserve a safe place to live, work, raise a family and operate a business,” said Assistant City Attorney Zach Gwin, the city’s lead attorney responding to problem properties in westside neighborhoods. “By getting these drug houses off line and the criminals who prey on our streets behind bars, we can lift up neighborhoods one property and block at a time, building better, safer communities for all of us.”

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