CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – More details are being released after a gas station in Charleston was shut down following a drug bust.
According to the Charleston Police Department, the City of Charleston filed an injunction Tuesday afternoon to close the Par Mar Amoco Gas Station on Washington Street East near Ruffner Avenue following a raid at the gas station that resulted in six people arrested.
The City alleged in the Complaint for Injunction that the gas station was a “public nuisance and a hazard to the health of the neighborhood and community at large.” The injunction was granted in Kanawha County Court that same afternoon.
Those arrested in the raid include 25-year-old Izrael Leon Mitchem, of Huntington, 21-year-old Marcus Diangelo Holmes, of Detroit, Michigan, 34-year-old Jemel Lee Waters, of Charleston, 40-year-old Beverly Lewis, of Charleston, 44-year-old Bryant Lorenzo Williams, of Detroit, Michigan, and 37-year-old Ciara Thomas, of Charleston.
Authorities say 14 other people have been identified in the investigation and are still wanted by authorities.
The indictment says that between Jan. 1, 2022 and Nov. 28, 2022, authorities have responded to more than 350 emergency calls at the gas station, resulting in 97 citations or arrests. While many of the calls were for disturbances, suspicious activity, drugs or alcohol, the injunction states there was also a shooting at the location on May 7, 2022.
The drug bust on Tuesday came after a nearly two-month undercover investigation by the Charleston Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit. The court documents reveal there were several drug transactions on the property that involved fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Authorities and court documents say several of the transactions happened within the store. The injunction alleges that “at least one Par Mar Oil Company employee at the East End Par Mar directly facilitated the sale of illegal drugs in Par Mar Store #116.” The injunction says police confirmed at least one employee, a manager, was aware of those illegal drug sales and “passively allowed the sales to happen, by simply urging the individuals at issue to ‘hurry up.'”
According to criminal complaints, Mitchem was an employee at that Par-Mar when transactions took place.
The store and the city are due in court regarding the injunction on Dec. 7, 2022.