An apparent drug den was discovered within Dallas city limits, not in the depths of some murky basement but in plain sight.
Local media personality Alex Stein tweeted a video on Twitter of what appears to be an open-air drug den next to a highway overpass west of University Park. The video showcased multiple people seemingly buying, selling, and using different types of illicit drugs.
Exposing an Open Air Drug Den in Dallas, Texaspic.twitter.com/AYi54aErsX
— Alex Stein #99 (@alexstein99) January 8, 2023
Some of these individuals were shown reacting violently to Stein’s presence, with some throwing objects at him after he asked to interview them.
The types of drugs being used at this site were not confirmed. However, individuals were observed smoking some sort of substance.
The Dallas Express went out to inspect this alleged open-air drug den and found that the area was filled with trash and other discarded items. However, the individuals seen in the video were not encountered on the visit.
While investigating the area, The Dallas Express spoke to Bishal Shrestha, the owner of a nearby convenience store and restaurant. He confirmed the existence of the drug den near his business.
Shrestha opened his convenience store with an attached restaurant six months prior and said he has been dealing with people associated with the drug den next door ever since.
“The problem for us is like we get an overwhelming number of people just standing here, and sometimes in the store, they steal things,” said Shrestha.
Shrestha said that he had attempted to contact police “more than 10 times” to deal with the intruders, but that police only responded half the time and provided no solution.
“I’m trying to make a living off of this small business and it’s hard,” said Shrestha.
Michael Dennis, public information officer for the Dallas Police Department (DPD), told The Dallas Express that its Special Investigations Division is aware of the original video and is working to resolve the situation in collaboration with DPD’s Patrol Division, the Office of Homeless Solutions, and other partners.
To Jake Colglazier, executive director of Keep Dallas Safe, the open-air drug den and the homeless and vagrant encampments that are allowed to exist within the City limits call to mind the urban blight more commonly found in places like Portland and San Francisco.
In a recent opinion piece, Colglazier claimed that local policies have “incentivized the kinds of behaviors that make cities like Dallas ultimately unlivable for law-abiding citizens.”
In a subsequent interview with The Dallas Express, he argued:
“All you have to do is make it more difficult for those people to stay on the streets, and the city council pretends like that’s very difficult.”