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Sept 20, 2018

TABC Cancels Permit of Houston-Area Bar on Narcotics Charges, Possible Human Trafficking

HOUSTON – Fourteen people were arrested and a Houston-area pool hall closed on September 15 following a joint investigation by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Homeland Security Investigations, the Harris County District Attorney's Office, Harris County Fire Marshals and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

El Condor Pool Hall, 9714 Veterans Memorial Drive, had its alcohol permit cancelled for cause after the operation, which also saw the seizure of several grams of narcotics including cocaine and heroin along with more than $6,700 in cash.

The closure followed several months of joint investigations by TABC and other agencies which uncovered evidence of narcotics sales at the bar as well as organized criminal activity. While executing a search warrant during the operation, investigators detained multiple suspects including several patrons who were found to be in possession of controlled substances. Investigators also interviewed 19 women as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged human trafficking.

"This operation is the culmination of months of work between multiple law enforcement agencies including TABC," said Robert Saenz, TABC Deputy Executive Director for Law Enforcement. "As long as there are bad actors using a legitimate business as a front for illegal activity, TABC and our partner agencies will be there to stop them. The evidence we collected indicates that a significant risk to public safety came to an end when this bar closed its doors."

Following the arrests, El Condor's owner agreed to cancel the bar's alcohol permit in light of TABC's allegations. The individuals arrested during the operation have been detained by local law enforcement, who will prosecute the criminal charges. The women removed as part of the human trafficking investigation were taken to be interviewed by members of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

Read more information about TABC's efforts to end human trafficking.

Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462