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The Harem shut down, 11 indicted on sex, drug, food stamp charges

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 7:18 PM

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck spoke on Friday and detailed the charges and arrests of 11 people during a strip club raid in Harrison Twp.

Calling The Harem strip club a “sex and drug den,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. announced Friday the business has been shut down after his office filed a motion for preliminary injunction. His office will seek to permanently close The Harem at 5825 North Dixie Dr.

Heck announced the indictments of 11 people — five of whom were arrested Thursday night during a raid of The Harem, The Living Room and Sharkey’s — during a Friday press conference about a 9-month investigation initiated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

“Undercover agents witnessed a number of liquor violations including dancers in full nudity,” Heck said. “They witnessed illegal drug transactions.”

RELATED: 3 Harrison Twp. strip clubs raided in drug, prostitution, fraud investigation

Those indicted are: Samantha Clay, 29, Dayton, on 33 counts; Samantha Childers, 30, Dayton, on 15 counts; Kayla Olivia Hatton, 22 , Dayton, on nine counts; Anna Barnes, 26, Middletown, on four counts; Sarah Barnes, 27, Piqua, on two counts; Melvin Bibbs, 58, Dayton, on four counts; Vanessa Graham (aka Schrider), 29, Englewood, on three counts; Ryan Perry, 32, Tipp City, on one count; Ciera Chastain, 24, Dayton, on four counts; Jennifer Rowland, 22, Springfield, on two counts; and Aaron Crenshaw, 30, Dayton, on seven counts.

Heck said five defendants were arrested Thursday and are in the Montgomery County Jail and that three more were arrested on unrelated charges.

Of the indicted 84 charges, the trafficking counts included cocaine, methamphetamine, carfentanil, fentanyl, marijuana and Oxycodone.

Several counts involved illegal sexual activity in a sexually oriented business, illegal uses of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) or WIC benefits and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

“The undercover agents conducted controlled drug buys at The Harem from a number of the defendants and observed the trading of food stamps and the cards used to obtain food stamps in exchange for sex acts, for lap dances and even illegal drugs,” Heck said. “The undercover agents were propositioned for sex and observed other propositions and proposition transactions. In short, The Harem was being used basically as a sex and drug den.”

Some defendants will be arraigned Oct. 3 and others on Oct. 12. Efforts to reach The Harem’s owners or management were unsuccessful.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Katherine Huffman signed an ex parte temporary restraining order to close The Harem.

Heck said a hearing will happen in the next 10 days when his office will ask a judge to shut down the business. The hearing has not been scheduled.

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“Our goal is simply to have the court declare that The Harem is a public nuisance and its continued operation endangers the safety of the neighborhood and the citizens,” Heck said.

The OSHP said The Harem, Sharkey’s and The Living Room all were charged in an administrative case with the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for numerous violations.

Heck said the business alerted people when sheriff’s deputies — operating out of a nearby substation — entered so illegal activity could be hidden.

“It took undercover agents going inside and acting as patrons in order to uncover the scope of the criminal activity involved,” Heck said, saying Harrison Twp. residents deserve to “not have drug dealers and/or prostitutes roaming the streets or conducting illegal activity right at their front door.”

Man arrested for threatening to blow up Federal Building downtown

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:57 AM

Jonahtan Durrough/Contributed
Jonahtan Durrough/Contributed

A man is in Montgomery County Jail this morning after he threatened to blow up the Federal Building on West Second Street Thursday morning, according to a Dayton police report.

According to the report, Jonathan Durrough, 41,  threatened to blow up the federal building and became combative toward security after being asked to leave.

>> Crime news from the Miami Valley

The security officer took Durrough into custody and alerted the threat to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Durrough attempted to spit on an officer while being questioned by an officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to the report.

>> WATCH: Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

Durrough was booked into jail on charges of felonious assault and aggravated menacing. The threat is under review by the federal prosecutor’s office.

Boy stops man to get help for Dayton gunshot victim

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 4:57 PM
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:00 AM

FROM SCENE: Child stops man to get help for Dayton gunshot victim

UPDATE @ 1 a.m. (Oct. 20)

Anthony Watson Jr., a 25-year-old man who was shot two times in the leg, was listed in serious condition early today at Miami Valley Hospital.

Crews were dispatched to the 3400 block of Valerie Armes Drive around 4 p.m. after a boy alerted an adult to call for help.

UPDATE @ 11 p.m.

An 11-year-old boy stopped a man this afternoon to get help for a gunshot victim.

According to a Dayton police report, the victim was 25-year-old Anthony Watson Jr.

There was no information about any suspects.

UPDATE @ 5:20 p.m.

A child alerted an adult that a man had been shot late this afternoon in Dayton. 

The 911 caller said the child told him the man was shot twice in the leg. 

Crews were dispatched just before 4 p.m. to the 3400 block of Valerie Arms Drive. 

The shooting victim, a man in his mid-20s, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital. His injuries are not life-threatening, police said.

According to an incident call log, the suspect vehicle is described as a black 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix with temporary tags and a large scratch on the rear. Two men in their 20s were inside.

FIRST REPORT

A shooting victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital this afternoon.

The incident was reported around 4 p.m. in the 3400 block of Valerie Arms Drive in Dayton.

>>Mom’s boyfriend charged after third-grader brings gun to school

The victim’s name, age and condition were not available.

It’s not clear whether police have a shooting suspect.

Why Ohio may have to break the law to launch its medical pot program

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 11:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 4:14 PM

What to know about the legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio

When Ohio officials award licenses next month allowing two dozen companies to cultivate medical marijuana, the growers will have almost a year to build facilities and produce their first crop.

But where will they get the seeds?

It will still be illegal to purchase marijuana plants from anyone but themselves.

MAP: Where medical marijuana could be grown in Ohio

Many of the applicants have cannabis-growing operations in other states, but it’s still illegal under federal law to bring marijuana across state lines.

The Ohio Department of Commerce, which regulates medical marijuana growers, doesn’t have an answer.

“That is a matter to be determined by the cultivator. The state does not have this information,” said commerce spokeswoman Kerry Francis in a July interview.

This media outlet has called several applicants. So far, none have been willing to say how or where they’ll get seeds for their virgin crop.

RELATED: Multi-state companies major players in Ohio’s budding medical pot trade

Alan Brochstein, an industry expert who founded the financial site New Cannabis Ventures, said it’s a phenomenon referred to in the industry as “immaculate conception.”

“The states typically will look the other way and let the starting material arrive,” he said, venturing a guess that they come from a mixture of the black market within the state and from other states, “either one of which would be a (legal) problem.”

April Hutcheson, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which is rolling out that state’s medical marijuana program, said the federal pot ban was not enforced during the Obama administration for actions done within state laws.

And, she said, “We haven’t received any notice from the federal government they’re changing their policy.”

RELATED: Ohio’s medical marijuana: What’s really going on?

But a 2014 memo that outlined the U.S. Department of Justice’s enforcement priorities listed among its continued goals: “Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states.”

Current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also is a staunch opponent of legalizing marijuana, and has sought increased power to enforce the federal ban.

The Justice Department did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment on the department’s position on Ohio’s medical marijuana program.

Officials with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said they have not been involved in discussions on how or whether to deal with companies bringing in a starter crop.

RELATED: Lawsuits likely when state picks pot sites: “Losers don’t like losing”

In Minnesota, a county prosecutor earlier this year charged former executives of a medical cannabis company with illegally transporting $500,000 of marijuana-based oil across state lines.

According to the charges, the former chief medical officer and security officer of Vireo Health drove the company’s armored vehicle from its legal facility in Minnesota to its legal facility in New York. The shipment allegedly arrived in the month before the January 2016 New York state deadline for launching its medical marijuana program.

MORE ON OHIO MEDICAL MARIJUANA:

Xenia medical pot ban won’t block Central State lab, city says

Ohio to buy $6 million seed-to-sale marijuana tracking system

Here are the 21 conditions that could qualify you for medical marijuana in Ohio

Southwest Ohio allowed to have 15 medical marijuana stores

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63-year-old Dayton gunshot victim fights for her life

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:48 AM

63-year-old Dayton woman in critical condition after shooting

A shooting victim was critically hurt Thursday night in Dayton.

Crews were dispatched shortly after 8:15 p.m. to the 1600 block of Tennyson Avenue.

>>Boy stops man to get help for gunshot victim

According to a Dayton police report, 63-year-old Rosemarie Harris was “shot by another, resulting in life-threatening injuries.”

Harris was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where she was undergoing surgery late Thursday night.

No suspect information was available.