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Sheriff shuts nightclub in East Williston area

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State alcohol agents help in operators's arrest

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

A mobile home in East Williston converted to a nightclub serving alcoholic beverages in return for a $5 cover charge and a $5 cup of ice was shut Friday night and three people arrested by the Levy County Sheriff's Office wih the help of several local and state agencies.

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The raid at 11:30 p.m. Friday at the Club 212 on Northeast 212 Court, came after months of investigation includedfollowing a shooting and complaints from neighbors, said Sheriff's Lt. Scott Tummond. The club, open on Friday and Saturday nights, once had a Facebook page with photos showing patrons with drinks inside the building and it served bar food, like chicken wings and chicken strips, and garbage cans with liners inside and out to collect discards. 

County Building Official Bill Hammond inspected the premises after the raid and condemned the building. Tummond said the structure had been altered with load-bearing walls removed creating a safety concern with as many as 200 people were inside it on occasion. 

Tummond said the raid was timed to have a small number of people on hand so as not to disupt a large crowd. He said there were about seven people on hand when officers entered the property. 

The club had music by a DJ and crowds of 800 to 1,000 people on the weekends. 

Operators of the business, Eugene and Chrissi Donald, were arrested on a felony charge of maintaining a nusiance building where drugs are bought, possessed sold or delivered. Officers seized 27 bottles of liquor.

A third person, Antjuan Edwards, was also arrested on a charged of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.  Another weapon was recovered from the mobile home, but the owner is unknown, according to a Levy County Sheriff's Office statement.

Tummond said additional charges are expected to be filed in the near future against the Donalds. 

The Levy County Commission has a request on its Tuesday meeting agenda by the county attorney  to seek an injunction to bar the operation as a safety issue and a violation of county ordinances against operation of a business in a residential area. 

The property is owned by Eugene Donald's mother, Tummond said, although she does not reside there. He said investigators believe the elderly woman did know the couple was operating a nightclub in the home. 

 

"They did not have any of the paperwork for selling beverages," Tummond said. Investigators "determined drugs were used and sold inside the club."

 

The search warrant served Friday night was used in an attempt to discover the soure of the liquor being served, Tummond said. "It appeared the Donalds were making purchases at various locations."

In addition, Tummond said,  "We knew weapons were being brought (onto the property) and drugs were being sold consumed" on the premesis. 

 

At one time the business had a Facebook page that is no longer active that had photos of partying and holding drinks inside the home.

Sheriff Bobby McCallum expressed his gratitude to all the agencies that assisted in this investigation and how much he appreciated the patience and assistance of the citizens who endured many sleepless nights. “We at the Sheriff’s Office hope that the citizens can now enjoy some peace and quite in their neighborhood”, McCallum said.

Agencies participating in the raid were the Florida Alcoholic Beverage and Todacco Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol, and officers and deputies from the Gainesville and Williston police department and the Alachua and Marion County Sheriff's Office.