City sues to shut down two suspected drug houses in Columbus

(Franklin County Auditor)
(Franklin County Auditor)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The City of Columbus filed a lawsuit Wednesday to shut down two suspected drug houses owned by the same person.

According to the City Attorney’s office, Michael Fosnaugh owns two well-known drug houses located at 947 Duxberry Avenue in the Linden area and 1036 Bellows Avenue in the Franklinton area.

The city accuses Fosnaugh of maintaining a public nuisance at both locations.

Fosnaugh told Katie Ferrell that he wasn’t aware he was being taken to court before NBC4 contacted him.

The Franklin County Environmental Court granted the city a temporary restraining order for the Duxberry Avenue property, allowing the city to evacuate and board up the premises this afternoon.

On two separate occasions, the city says search warrants turned up several dangerous weapons at the Duxberry site, which is located within a half-mile radius of Hamilton Elementary School, the Linmoor Education Center, and Linden McKinley High School.

The Duxberry Avenue property is also located in the same neighborhood where there were several overdoses Tuesday night linked to a dangerous strain of heroin.

“These cases are part of our ongoing effort to target drug havens—whether they are hotels, multi-unit apartment complexes, or single-family dwellings—that plague our neighborhoods,” said City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer, Jr.

Columbus police started investigations in response to complaints about drug activity at both premises, according to the city.

After two covert purchases of crack-cocaine at the Duxberry location, investigators say narcotics detectives executed a search warrant and found 32.8 grams of crack-cocaine, 28.5 grams of marijuana, a revolver with live rounds, a semi-automatic rifle with live rounds, additional ammunition and magazines, a cocaine press, and five security cameras located outside the house.

The City Attorney’s office says CPD provided Fosnaugh formal written notification of the illegal drug activity occurring at his premises and spoke with him directly as well.  However, they say the drug dealing continued.

After another covert purchase of crack-cocaine at the Duxberry location, narcotics detectives executed another search warrant on September 21 and found 27.5 grams of heroin, digital scales, two semi-automatic rifles, a revolver with live rounds, a shotgun, ammunition, rounds, and magazines.

The City Attorney’s office said the  1036 Bellows Avenue property, had so much drug trafficking that two people worked there as “doormen.”

Investigators said police investigation into the property led to multiple covert purchases of crack-cocaine between July 2015 and June 2016.  Three separate search warrants also provided further evidence of illegal drug activity.

If a property is ultimately declared to be a statutorily defined public nuisance, state law grants the court authority to order the premises shut down for up to one year.

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