Hamilton County deputies raid Drake Motel, arrest owner and four others

Officials hope to permanently shut down business

CINCINNATI -- Law enforcement agents raided a Sycamore Township motel Monday and arrested five people -- including the motel's owner, according to Julie Wilson from the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.

Deputies swarmed the Drake Motel at 8109 Reading Road and forced everyone inside to get out.

Several Hamilton County Sheriff's Office vehicles -- including a special response vehicle -- were called in as part of the raid.

The search was part of an ongoing nuisance investigation, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters. The motel has long been a magnet for drug dealers and prostitutes, according to police.

However, Wilson said no drugs were found on the property after the raid this morning.

Officials said over the past few years, they have received at least 350 calls about the motel and police have found four bodies there during that time frame.

Deters said the motel's owner, Devas Desai, was charged with obstruction of official business, a second-degree misdemeanor. The prosecutor said a grand jury will be looking at levying more indictments against the owner.

The people who were staying at the motel were told they had to leave and find some other place to stay.

Jeff Cross has lived at the motel for four years. He said Desai was actually trying to keep the place clean, and that it wasn't as bad as other businesses he had stayed at.

Cross was also upset about the lack of warning from deputies. He said he had just paid his rent for the week and he won't get that money back. Now he doesn't know where he'll go.

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