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Denver sex club accused of serving a side of drugs
DENVER - The "Scarlet Ranch" in the heart of Denver looks like any other packed bar on a Saturday night.
But it is no ordinary nightclub. It's a sex club for swingers. "There's sex everywhere, people just going at it," says a woman we sent inside with a hidden camera.
She says she witnessed couples having group sex and selling and using illegal drugs.
"There was a worker handing out free 'Ecstasy' (an illegal drug)," she says. "I was surprised they would be handing out drugs like that."
The illegal sale and use of illegal drugs is a concern for the Denver District attorney's office. A spokesperson for the DA's office told us, the allegation should prompt a police department investigation.
But the bigger concern for the city isn't sexy at all.
The Denver Fire Department says the building which houses the club may not be up to fire code.
"We thought this issue had been handled until you brought it to our attention," says fire spokesperson Phil Champagne.
Denver Fire was one of the agencies involved in 2005, when the city investigated a number of code violations at the club.
The Denver Building Department ordered the club's owner to turn the building back into a warehouse or get a new certificate of occupancy.
But that never happened.
"Our concern is from a fire safety perspective," says Champagne. He says the fire, building and zoning department all share the responsibility of keeping potentially dangerous buildings from falling through the cracks.
The zoning department does not allow adult entertainment businesses in certain areas of the city.
The Scarlet Ranch is registered as a "nonprofit," the owner is not paying taxes.
But his customers are paying a $100 a night cover charge to get inside the club.
The city fire, building and zoning departments say they plan to inspect the club to see if it is safe for public assembly and up to fire code.
Heidi HemmatKDVR Denver
9:27 PM MDT, May 16, 2010
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