TABC Cancels Houston Bar's Liquor Permit Following Human Trafficking Investigation
Texas alcohol regulators found evidence of prostitution at popular nightclub
AUSTIN — A Houston-area bar’s liquor permit has been revoked after investigators from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s Special Investigations Unit discovered a suspected brothel operating there.
Vegas Nite Club, 12629 W. Hardy Road in Houston, was the subject of a TABC emergency order issued this week following an investigation into allegations of prostitution and human trafficking March 26. During the investigation, TABC investigators made contact with multiple women believed to be working at the location, obtaining information that’s led to both administrative actions being taken on the TABC permit and criminal charges filed against several suspects. TABC Victim Services offered assistance to all of the possible victims of human trafficking identified that night.
TABC investigators later served the bar owner with an emergency order requiring them to stop all alcohol sales and service for 90 days. An order permanently cancelling the business’ liquor license soon followed. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 11.61 requires the Commission to cancel a business’ liquor license or permit if it’s found that “the place or manner in which the permittee conducts the permittee’s business warrants the cancellation or suspension of the permit based on the general welfare, health, peace, morals, and safety of the people.”
“I’m incredibly proud of the work by our TABC agents, as well as our local, state and federal partners during this operation,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “Prostitution is one of the leading indicators of even more serious organized criminal activity, including human trafficking. TABC will continue to actively investigate and put a stop to any criminal activity taking place in the businesses we license.”
Joining TABC on the investigation were the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division, FBI, Harris County Constable’s Office – Precinct 1, U.S. Department of State and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
The case remains under investigation.
TABC Public Information Officer