Club 152 a very popular nightclub on Beale Street was declared a nuisance and closed by the Shelby County District Attorney on Thursday after a raid by law enforcement.
District Attorney General Weirich and West Tennessee Drug Task Force Director Tim Helldorfer shut down Club 152 due to multiple instances of unlawful drug sales, violence and crime at and around the location on Beale Street.
The closure was the result of a nuisance petition filed by DAG Weirich. Shelby County Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter signed an injunction.
"The law-abiding businesses and patrons of Beale Street deserve better than what Club 152 has allowed to happen," DAG Weirich said Thursday afternoon.
Patrons who were inside the club Thursday afternoon were told to leave. One patron was overheard if they had to pay for their drinks.
Detectives witnessed club patrons and employees openly smoking marijuana inside Club 152 during the raid.
An undercover investigation began in November 2012 into the club.
The Western Tennessee Drug Task Force began an undercover investigation at the club in November 2012 utilizing an undercover officer from the Bartlett Police Department. The investigation confirmed the complaints of illicit narcotic sales and use and implicated members of the club's management in criminal activities.
On 10 separate dates, the undercover officer purchased illegal drugs inside the club from employees and patrons. The drugs being sold included marijuana, cocaine, Percocet and Xanax pills.
"The WTDTF agents are to be commended for their hard work in this investigation," said WTDTF Director Helldorfer. "The drug activities at Club 152 occurred in front of management and in some instances by employees at the club. This is unacceptable."
Club 152 management was also implicated.
The owner of Club 152 Operating Company, LLC was ordered to appear for a hearing on Monday, May 20 in General Sessions Division XIV to respond to the nuisance petition.
"We don't pick our timing based on evidence presented to us," said DAG Weirich.
Each of the illegal drug transactions occurred while Club 152 was open
for business and in the presence of patrons and employees of the club.
Four different Club 152 security guards and one "Executive VIP Host"
sold illegal drugs to officers, the Shelby County District Attorney's
Office said in the nuisance complaint. In many instances, detectives
witnessed club patrons, employees and security guards openly smoking
marijuana inside the establishment.
Between January 2012 and April 2013 police responded to at least 130 calls at Club 152, including over 20 complaints of fights inside the club. During the same period, a variety of criminal offenses at the club resulted in 37 arrests ranging from assault, disorderly conduct and firearms charges.
FOX13 News reporter Bofta Yimam contributed to this report.
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