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17 East Bar Locked Down After Bloods Arrest

Thu, May 01, 2014 10:43 AM | NYGIA (Administrator)
17 East has been officially locked down. Binghamton Mayor Rich David nailed the notice to the front door, this morning.

17 East was an after-hours club at 348 Clinton St. that police say was run by the MacBallers, which is affiliated with the national Bloods Street Gang.

Police say the establishment did not have a liquor license and was a hub for the drug trade and illegal gambling. At least two shootings also happened there.

17 East and eight other locations were raided last month, which netted the arrest of 14 people.

The business will be locked down for one year.

"As part of the stipulation, Binghamton Police are able to access this property 24/7 at their convenience without notice. The locks have already been changed and the keys are in the possession of the city," said David.

38-year-old Calvin Johnson of Binghamton operated the nightclub. However, the business was placed in his girlfriend's name while the actual building was owned by his mother who lives out of the area.

Johnson is now a federal fugitive.

Police Chief Joe Zikuski says police were aware of the problems at 17 East, which led to an in-depth investigation. However, it took some time to put everything together.

"It has got to be made clear to some of the neighbors, some of the business owners, they were serving alcohol here. We knew from our informants, but you couldn't just walk in," explained Zikuski. "They wouldn't let the police in when we came here at 3 o'clock in the morning. They would open up usually after the bars close, usually very late 2 a.m. in the morning, 3 a.m. When we did the warrant at 6 o'clock in the morning, there were still three people drinking at 6 a.m. in the morning on a weekday."

The lock down order does not impact the barbershop or several apartments in the building.

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