TABC Cancels Permits for Three Austin-area Bars Following Narcotics Allegations
AUSTIN – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission shuttered three bars April 20 following a long-term investigation into allegations of organized crime taking place at the establishments.
TABC obtained cancellation orders for the following establishments' permits to sell alcohol:
- La Movida Night Club Bar & Grill, 2538 Elmont Drive, Austin
- Los Cocodrilos Bar, 9601 I-H 35 North, Austin
- Perikos Bar, 1611 Dungan Lane, Austin
A long-term investigation by TABC's Special Investigations Unit uncovered evidence of narcotics trafficking and drink solicitation at the establishments. Drink solicitation occurs when a licensed business' employees offer to spend time with a customer if that customer purchases a drink for them at a marked-up price. The 84th Texas Legislature provided a presumption that an alcoholic beverage if sold or offered for sale was in excess of the retailer's listed, advertised, or customary price, solicitation was presumed. The fine for solicitation is up to $1,000.00 or up to one year in confinement in the county jail or both. During the April 20 investigation, TABC agents witnessed additional violations which led to the immediate cancellation of the three business' permits.
"One of TABC's primary missions is keeping the public safe, so we view closing these locations as a win," said Captain Ron Swenson of TABC's Special Investigations Unit. "Selling narcotics out of a licensed business and/or engaging in drink solicitation are serious crimes which can lead to any number of public safety as well as public welfare concerns. Closing these bars is one of many tools in our toolbox when it comes to upholding public safety."
Special Agents from the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations also investigated the bars on allegations of organized criminal activity. Those investigations are ongoing.
The operation was one of several recent joint operations involving TABC and DPS special agents. The two agencies frequently collaborate in support of public safety, investigating organized criminal activity such as narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking.
Public Information Officer, TABC Headquarters