By MARK LAW
STEUBENVILLE - The city tried to use a common pleas court injunction to close an alleged illegal nightclub but now is asking for police permission to padlock its doors.
Club 106 is owned and operated by Derek Smith of 144 Wildon Ave. out of a building at 601 South St. The building is owned by Genevieve Murray and the late Elmer Murray of Steubenville and is leased to Smith.
The city's law director, S. Gary Repella, got an injunction earlier this year to prevent Smith from operating the building as a social club and selling beer and liquor illegally until he gets the proper building permits from the city.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety assisted City Police in an investigation into the club. Undercover liquor agents entered Club 106, were met by a doorman and paid a cover charge of $10 in May, according to the complaint filed in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court on Thursday.
The liquor agents went to the bar area and ordered and paid for drinks. Later that night, the club was raided and 120 people were found inside. Agents reported finding more than 300 bottles of beer, dozens of bottles of liquor, six firearms, two of which were reported stolen, bags of marijuana, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, prescription pills and suspected methamphetamine.
Assistant Law Director Costa Mastros said Smith was convicted in Steubenville Municipal Court for selling beer or intoxicating liquor without a permit. Mastros said there have been incidents of criminal activity around the club, including assaults, gun fights and homicides.
The city wants the club to be shut down for a year, padlocked and the contents removed and placed in storage.
A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 21 before Common Pleas Judge David Henderson.