Judge orders closure of Club Empire pending hearing

Judge orders closure of Club Empire pending hearing
A hearing will be held at a later date to determine if and when Club Empire will reopen. (Photo source: HPD)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A judge ordered the closure of Club Empire in Hattiesburg on Friday until further notice of the court.

Twelfth Circuit Court District Attorney Patricia Burchell filed the petition for the temporary restraining order after alleged illegal and violent activities at the club, including a rise in narcotics, weapons and gambling activity, according to a Hattiesburg Police Department news release.

Officers and agents from multiple agencies served the warrant at the club on Friday. (Photo source: HPD)
Officers and agents from multiple agencies served the warrant at the club on Friday. (Photo source: HPD)

Burchell released the following statement regarding the closure:

“Chancery Judge Rhea Sheldon signed a temporary restraining order this morning that closes Club Empire until further order of the court. District Attorney Patricia Burchell field a petition requesting the issuance of the temporary restraining order due to the repeated violent and illegal activities that have occurred on the premises of Club Empire, including two aggravated assaults involving firearms within the past month. District Attorney Patricia Burchell brought this action to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City of Hattiesburg and Forrest County. There will be a hearing before Judge Sheldon at a later date to determine if and when Club Empire will reopen.”

Hattiesburg police, Metro Narcotics officers, members of the Forrest-Perry County District Attorney’s office, members of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, ABC and DEA agents served the warrant at the club on Timothy Lane on Friday.

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