Judge Rules Columbus Hotel Is A Nuisance Property

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An environmental court judge has ruled the owners of the Columbus Inn & Suites are guilty of maintaining a nuisance property.

Columbus Police shut it down back in June and now the judge says it must remain closed for a year.

Prosecutors say the property was a public nuisance, rampant with drugs and prostitution. According to court documents obtained by 10TV, this has been an ongoing problem for years.

The property owners have been cited for multiple violations during 50 code inspections since 2011 for everything from deplorable conditions to illegal drug and prostitution activity.

The documents reveal that Columbus police officers were dispatched nearly 500 times to the north Columbus motel at 6121 Zumstein Drive in just over a year's time.

Police say a number of search warrants involving covert operations resulted in "controlled purchases of crack cocaine, heroin and numerous arrests and convictions for prostitution-related offences."

The court found, the owners, Mohammad and Umtul Ashraf guilty of "maintaining a nuisance property and failure to act in good faith to remedy the conditions"

The city's attorney's office says illegal activity occurred daily at the Columbus Inn and Suites.

"We consider this a success for Columbus Ohio in a particular area that's been plagued by prostitution and illegal activities," said Columbus City Attorney Richard Pfeiffer. He says the owners have the right to appeal the ruling, as it stands the business will remain closed until January 21, 2015.