City of Columbus boards up 3 drug houses in less than one week

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The Columbus City Attorney said an "arduous" investigative process ultimately closed three drug houses in west Columbus in less than one week.

Zach Klein said all of the investigations were initiated by a complaint from a neighbor or community member who had the courage to ask the city for help.

As a result, the city shut down what it called a "one-stop shop for illegal drugs" in the 200-block of Avondale Avenue. That house is within walking distance of Avondale Elementary School.

Police also boarded up what they call two known drug houses in the 300 block of Hague Avenue and the 100-block of North Guilford Avenue, which is a half mile from Starling Middle School.

Klein said the investigations often lead to police raids that uncover much more than drugs.

"There's weapons, there's guns, gangs, prostitution, there's human trafficking," said Klein. "No one deserves that."

Longtime community activist, Lisa Boggs, has advocated for the Hilltop neighborhood for more than 20 years. She said she believes the city's efforts are making a difference.

"They're tearing it up. They're tearing it up on Sullivant Avenue and that's a major corridor over here. It's the heart and spine of the Hilltop," said Boggs.

The Columbus Division of Police Narcotics Unit provided CrimeTracker 10 with the number of complaints about suspected drug houses in the city of Columbus. The number suggests police, prosecutors and concerned neighbors are gaining ground.

In 2015, the Columbus Division of Police received 2509 complaints. That number climbed to 2532 in 2016, but last year it fell to 2403.

Boggs said if you need help solving a problem in your neighborhood, you can always reach out to the city of Columbus' 311 services.
Klein said anyone who wants to report suspected drug activity can call 311, or share information directly with police.

Klein said police, community activists and the city prosecutor's office will keep at it, and continue to aggressively investigate citizen complaints and shut down drug houses that threaten neighborhoods.