Shelby County Sheriff's deputies and the district attorney's office raided Blu Restaurant and Grill Tuesday evening in Southeast Memphis because the place has been a magnet for crime, drugs, and violence.
Narcotics Unit deputies entered the restaurant and bar, located at 3895 Hacks Cross Road, shortly after 9 p.m., and within an hour the restaurant was closed permanently.
The closure was the result of petition filed by District Attorney General Weirich. An injunction was issued by Shelby County Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter and served on the bar.
"Much of the illegal activity inside this business was committed by employees at this location," said DA General Weirich said in a news release. "This cannot be tolerated. The business' owner and its employees should be held to account."
No one was taken into custody in the shocking night raid, though they are looking at several employees and restaurant patrons.
At least 50 deputies from the sheriff's office and district attorney's office conducted the raid.
The district attorney's office said cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy have exchanged hands in full view of the restaurant's management. Most of the illegal transactions were done by employees like the bathroom attendant, a security guard, and the DJ.
"These types of incidents will not be tolerated and we will continue to diligently work with the DAG's Office to make sure that those who violate the law will be dealt with in a swift and decisive manner," said Sheriff Bill Oldham.
The DA said they have received at least 74 complaints since January 2012 about the illegal activity inside and outside the restaurant.
During that same period, there have been 28 offense reports originating at Blu. Reports include robbery, aggravated assaults, drug use, domestic assault and DUI. Officers have responded to multiple fights inside and outside of the business, as well as complaints of quarreling, employee theft and burglary in the immediate area of the business.
Six weeks before Tuesday evening's raid, the district attorney and sheriff used a confidential informant to try and find out what was taking place at Blu.
In the past six weeks there were at least nine illegal drug sales that took place inside or outside in the parking lot at Blu.
The Hacks Cross restaurant is registered in the name of MPJ Investments and bills were paid by a man named John Edwards.
Edwards was ordered to appear for a hearing on April 1 in General Sessions Division XIV to respond.
Tennessee's nuisance law states that the District Attorney General has authority to bring a civil action against any establishment deemed a nuisance. The statute defines a nuisance, in part, as "any place in or upon which… unlawful sale of any regulated legend drug, narcotic or other controlled substance ... quarrelling, drunkenness, fighting, or breaches of the peace are carried on or permitted."
FOX13 News reporter Bofta Yimam contributed to this report.
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