Three El Paso bars forced to close after complaints of narcotics, human trafficking

Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 07:16 PM MDT
Three El Paso bars forced to close after complaints of narcotics, human trafficking story image

By: Jamel Valencia and Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas - An investigation conducted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission revealed the Golden Nugget Bar, Doll House Bar and George Washington Bar employed Barrio Azteca gang members.

TABC said it received complaints that narcotics and human trafficking were happening at all three locations.

Multiple law enforcement agencies arrested 12 of 29 suspects as result of the investigation. Two of the arrested suspects are confirmed to belong to the Barrio Azteca gang and believed to have been involved in drug trafficking activities.
The El Paso County Attorney’s Office is handling 59 delivery of a controlled substance cases against the 29 suspects, according to the TABC Special Investigations unit.

Temporary restraining orders have forced all three bars to close.

The managers of the bars were served notices that indicated various violations of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. The permit holders were cited for sale, delivery and possession of narcotics by the employees, prostitution, solicitation of an alcoholic beverage by employees, and allowing employees to engage in continued and organized criminal activities contrary of the law designed to protect the general welfare, health, peace, morals, and safety of the people and the public sense of decency.

During several investigations, a state employee successfully purchased drugs at each of the bars, according to TABC’s temporary restraining order application.

The documents also stated that employees at the bar would solicit drinks from customers for $5, water down the drinks and put only $2 in the register.

"TABC license holders who fail to legally manage or control their establishments and allow nefarious activities to take place on the premises do not deserve the privilege to operate a bar in Texas," said Assistant Chief Dexter Jones. "TABC will continue to partner with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to eradicate bad business behavior occurring inside of bars and restaurants permitted by the TABC. License holders have an obligation to comply with the law, and the people of Texas expect them to actively contribute to the overall quality of life and safety of their community.”

TABC officials said they are seeking to cancel permits at three El Paso bars following the long-term narcotics investigation.

Anyone with information about illegal activity occurring in a TABC-licensed location should call their local TABC office by dialing 1-888-THE-TABC. In El Paso, call 915-351-3697.


Three El Paso bars forced to close after complaints of narcotics, human trafficking
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