A judge has ordered an Oneida motel to be shut down under the state nuisance law after a court filing from District Attorney General Jared Effler says police were called to the motel more than 250 times in less than a year.
“We came to a point where we had to take action,” said Effler.
Oneida Family Hotel, 20151 Alberta Street, was shut down on Wednesday following an investigation by the Oneida Police Department. Court documents state the motel has been the scene of rampant criminal activity, including “drug trafficking, domestic violence, lewd sexual activity, and breaches of the peace.”
Motel owner Chris Yosef says the claims are untrue.
“No drugs, nobody on drugs lives in the motel right now,” said Yosef.
Court filings document dozens of police calls to the motel over the past year, for everything from controlled drug buys, to domestic violence, to sexual assault involving underage victims. There were also calls for sewage being pumped into a storm drain and a trash pile next to the motel consisting of old mattresses, box springs and bedding, which is a violation of municipal code.
Motel manager Donna New says there have not been many calls since she became manager.
“The last five months that I have been manager they might have been here three or four times and mainly just looking for people that they thought were here and come to find out they were not.” said New.
New, like many residents, have no where to stay without the hotel.
“Well, we’re going to pitch a tent and and stay in there and hope and that we find somewhere,” said New.
“In short, the Oneida Family Hotel is a business that thrives on allowing and encouraging drug activity and facilitates the illegal distribution of narcotics in Scott County,” wrote Efler. “Furthermore, the Oneida Family Hotel fosters an environment of fighting, disturbance of the peace, lewd sexual activity, and public drunkenness.”
Photos published in the Independent Herald-Oneida show distraught residents being evicted from the motel.
Owners Chris and Nada Yousif will appear in court within the next five days.