The city of Dayton, Ohio, long known for its association with aviation, home to the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the birthplace of Orville Wright, now has a new claim to fame. An investigation launched in May of 2017 uncovered a drug trafficking, food stamp trafficking, and prostitution rings leading to the revocation of the liquor permits and closure of three adult entertainment establishments in Dayton.
The Ohio Liquor Control Commission revoked the liquor permit of the Twenty Two Fifty Inc., also known as Sharkey’s, the Living Room, and the Harem. In an investigation spanning several months, agents exchanged some $2,404.87 in food stamp and WIC benefits to purchase a variety of things ranging from illegal drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, cocaine, carfentanil, Oxycodone, and methamphetamines to lap dances and sexual favors.
Prosecutors say state undercover agents witnessed multiple liquor violations, prostitution, and felony drug trafficking,
Criminal charges were filed against employees and patrons for drug trafficking, food stamp trafficking, aggravated shipment and distribution of heroin, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, and illegal sexual activity.
According to Fox 45 –
“Agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said they found drug trafficking, food stamp trafficking and prostitution at three Harrison Township strip clubs.
The officers executed the search warrants Thursday night at the Harem, the Living Room and Sharkey’s, all on North Dixie Drive, after a long-term investigation.
They said 34 people are facing either felony or misdemeanor charges, and that 140 total criminal charges were filed in the case. A total of 166 administrative violations were also filed, but agents said more charges are possible as the investigations continue.”
An undercover agent testified that he was given a private dance and the two settled on a deal for a gram of cocaine for $100. The agent said that the dancer returned with the drugs and gave them to him from the front of her panties. She then rubbed her naked breasts against him and that she set forth pricing if they met later at a hotel.
The agent testified of the encounter – “She said that she goes out on dates with some of her customers or clients. She said it would be $300 — $50 for the dance, $50 for the hotel and $200 for her. I asked if I was going to get my money’s worth and she stated that you’d definitely get your money’s worth.”
Among the charges filed are –
- 34 counts of engaging in sexual activity
- 29 counts of nudity
- 17 counts of drug sales
- 14 counts of drug possession
- 9 counts of solicitation for anything of value
- 6 counts of public indecency
- 3 counts of trafficking in electronic benefit transfer (EBT)
- 1 count of illegal possession of EBT
- 1 count of Drug Paraphernalia possession
- 7 counts of drug sales
- 6 counts of engaging in sexual acts
- 6 counts of drug possession
- 4 counts of trafficking in EBT
- 2 counts of solicitation of anything of value
- 2 counts of nudity
- 1 count of illegal use of EBT
- 1 count of drug use
- 1 count of illegal possession of EBT
The Living Room
- 5 counts of nudity
- 5 counts of engaging in sexual activity
- 3 counts of public indecency
- 1 count of drug sales
Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.referred to the clubs as a “den of drug dealing and prostitution.” As barricades were put up Monday morning, Heck gave a warning to other establishments like Sharky’s and The Living Room, saying this should be a ‘wake-up call.’
“If you do not operate within the confines of the law, we are going to shut you down,” he said.
Montgomery County Judge Dennis Adkins ordered the clubs to be shut down and their liquor licenses revoked. Trustees from Harrison Township were at the clubs on Monday to witness the barricades be put into place. They say they do not want businesses that are breaking the law to be operating in their community, “we mean business,” said Harrison Township Trustee Roland Winburn.
The Dayton Daily News reports –
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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”