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      Airport Express Video served with shutdown notice

      The 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office is taking action to shut down an adult video store in Horry County.

      Solicitor Jimmy Richardson served notice on the owners of Airport Express Video that he wants the business shut down for being a public nuisance.

      A civil petition filed this week claims the store, located off U.S. 17 Bypass, has a general reputation for lewdness.

      The court document says the business has been used as a place for people to meet and engage in illicit sex acts.

      "We were getting complaints from locals that were saying this is what's going on at Airport Express," said Richardson.

      The solicitor's request for an injunction against Airport Express will come up for a hearing before the county's Master-in-Equity, most likely within 90 days.

      "If she were to agree with us on the facts and the videos and everything else that we would produce as evidence, it would be closed immediately," Richardson said.

      If that happens, Richardson will pursue a court case to shut the business down for a year.

      He said in effect, the closing would be permanent, because after a year the owner often goes out of business.

      Richardson said the kinds of activities that make Airport Express a public nuisance have been going on for years, so it's too late for the store to try to change now.

      "Simply saying, 'OK, we'll stop with all of that,' doesn't necessarily do away with the problem," he said.

      Richardson said in many cases, the owners of a building that's leased out as an adult video store are just as interested in getting their tenants out as are the police and the neighbors.

      "For the most part, everybody is in favor of closing those businesses, except the ones that are making money off of it," he said.

      Richardson said he's looking to take similar action against at least two other adult businesses in the county.

      NewsChannel 15 contacted the owner of Airport Express Video, Kelvin Lewis, by phone Friday. He declined to comment.