Judge declares alleged drug house a nuisance, orders it locked up

YOUNGSTOWN — A judge has declared an alleged drug house on the city’s East Side a public nuisance and ordered police to immediately and forcibly remove its occupants, close it and padlock it until further notice.

At the request of Ohio Atty. Gen. Marc Dann and City Prosecutor Jay Macejko, Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court issued the temporary restraining order Thursday to close 37 N. Hine St.

The judge set a hearing on the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary and permanent injunction for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in his courtroom. Defendants in the civil action are listed as Jason Pates, owner, and Ronnie Jones, an occupant of the house. The complaint listed 37 N. Hine St. as the address for both defendants.

The complaint says a confidential informant made 10 undercover crack cocaine purchases at the house within the past year and that police found crack cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and guns in raids in which search warrants were executed last year. Jones was on the premises during both the March 2 and March 30, 2007, raids, the complaint said.

Even after the raids, the covert crack cocaine purchases continued into January 2008, the complaint said. An active, unexecuted search warrant for the premises is still pending, according to Judge Evans’ order.

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