Neighborhood residents and police band together to stop illegal activity at store

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson is commending some very observant and persistent neighbors for putting an end to illegal drug activity in the Tower Grove East neighborhood.

The activity surrounded the Arsenal Market, which anchors the corner of Arsenal and Virginia Avenue.

Many neighbors reported being harassed by the store’s patrons and seeing loitering, drug deals and trash littered everywhere.

“I'm a mother of two boys and there’s a lot of neighbors with young children so we were very concerned with having this kind of activity going on with all the children in the neighborhood,” said Denise Heintz, a neighborhood block leader.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson sent undercover officers in after he heard of a high school student who bought products from the store and got dangerously high.

"He was in and out of consciousness for about 4 days while he was dealing with the product,” Chief Dotson said.

"We can't have business like this that put young people at risk, that prey on young people,” he added.

According to Dotson, officers found K2, a synthetic marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cough syrup being sold over the counter in single doses.

Today Chief Dotson joined the neighbors at a City Hall hearing to strip the occupancy license from Arsenal Market, so that it can never operate there again.

"There was such an outcry about the types of behavior that this market was drawing into that neighborhood that the city the police department had to do something about it and we did,” he said.