FORT WAYNE – Police converged on a south-side bar early Saturday and arrested 27 people, most of them on drug-related charges.
The Fort Wayne Gang and Violent Crimes Unit, working with the Indiana State Excise Police, served a search warrant about 2:15 a.m. at the Hard Hitters Club, 5001 Avondale Drive, with assistance from the city police Emergency Services Team and Allen County SWAT, according to a statement from the gang unit.
About 70 people were at the club at the time, police said.
The charges included:
Maintaining a common nuisance – 2
Visiting a common nuisance –17
Dealing cocaine – 1
Possession of marijuana – 6
Possession of a synthetic drug – 1
Miscellaneous warrants – 6
The Fort Wayne Police Department began looking at Hard Hitters in response to several serious violent crimes associated with the location including shots fired, shootings, stabbings, and one homicide, the statement said.
A statement from the excise police said Hard Hitters is a motorcycle club and that its president, Larry Lawrence, 40, and the secretary, Demetrius Carter, 29, both of Fort Wayne, were each arrested on a preliminary felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance.
Excise officers also cited the premise’s temporary beer and wine permit on preliminary administrative charges, including violating the scope of that permit by allowing the carryout of alcoholic beverages and serving liquor. The permit was also cited for maintaining a common nuisance. Those charges will be reviewed by the prosecutor for Indiana’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
The gang unit said detectives recovered about 200 grams of marijuana, 4 grams of cocaine, 3 grams of spice and four handguns.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office assisted in the investigation.