Solicitor seeks to shut down Myrtle Beach motel after investigation into prostitution, drugs, bribery

Grand Strand Crime

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County Solicitor’s Office wants a judge to shut down a Myrtle Beach motel for a year under the state’s nuisance law.

Guests, management, and employees of the Coral Sands Motel have used the place for prostitution and to distribute and take illegal drugs, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. The motel is on North Ocean Boulevard.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department began an investigation of the Coral Sands in March. “This investigation determined most of the guests at the Coral Sands use the Motel to distribute illegal drugs and engage in prostitution,” the petition states.

15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said he began looking into if after police came to him with repeated concerns of the motel.

“One bad night doesn’t make a nuisance,” Richardson said. “One bad activity, that ain’t a nuisance. A nuisance is just what you think it would be, it’s constantly.”

The petition states “management and security purchase illegal drugs from tenants and provide discounts on rooms in exchange for drugs and sex acts. Management also accepts bribes in exchange for allowing people to sell drugs at the Coral Sands and has a room set aside for drug use and prostitution.”

“It doesn’t happen often and the way it comes to our attention, generally speaking, if it’s in the city of Myrtle Beach, the police chief will come and say ‘we’re having a real problem with a, b, c,'” Richardson said.

In the petition filed last week, the solicitor’s office says police officers and other officials have met with the business owner, Harkishin Bhambhani, since February 2018 to address the dilapidated condition and its high calls for public safety service. But the nuisance activity has continued, the petition states.

The solicitor’s office served a written notice of public nuisance to Bhambhani on June 7, but that notice was never answered, the document states.

“Most of the time you don’t have to do but one nuisance, if that,” Richardson said. “A lot of the times just talking to the people works. Obviously, we had to go a step further here and if the judge agrees with us, he can close it down for up to a year.”

Richardson said it’s rare that his office has to do this. The last time was with the Rosen Sea Inn on Ocean Boulevard in 2019. In February 2020, that hotel was shut down as a nuisance.

News13 has reached out to the Coral Sands Motel for comment and are waiting to hear back.

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