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May 19, 2017

TABC Shutters Six El Paso Bars Following Long-term Investigation

EL PASO, Texas – The permits for six central El Paso bars have been cancelled following a long-term investigation conducted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) revealed evidence of bar employees engaged in narcotics trafficking. The affected bars are:

  • Player's Billiard Parlor - 4024 Dyer Street
  • Horizon Nite Club - 3808 Pershing Drive
  • Rumors Sports Club and Lounge - 3317 Dyer Street
  • Brass Asp Bar - 6201 Airport Road
  • Twinz Lounge - 6203 Airport Road
  • Mobius Bar 915 - 6269 Airport Road

More than 80 administrative violations were filed against the bars by TABC investigators. The alleged offenses include multiple instances of sale and delivery of drugs and drug-free zone violations committed by the employees and permit holders at the six bars. With the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, the El Paso Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety, eight of 17 suspects were arrested on felony charges of delivery of a controlled substance.

The Special Investigations Unit, which focuses on long-term, resource-intensive investigations involving narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and other organized criminal activity connected to the alcoholic beverage industry, conducted the investigations as part of an initiative to combat narcotics trafficking in bars located in drug-free zones.

Drug-free zones are locations defined by the Texas Health and Safety Code meant to aid in deterring the presence of drugs and weapons in locations where young people congregate, such as schools. The Texas Health and Safety Code allows for heavier penalties for convictions related to narcotics and weapons offenses occurring within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone.

"TABC considers any offense of narcotic sales very serious; and when you add in these locations are within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare or playground it certainly increases the urgency to take swift and decisive corrective action" said Captain Ron Swenson of TABC's Special Investigations Unit. "Several of these locations are in close proximity to each other and we are confident that the closure of these establishments will have a positive impact on the surrounding community."

Anyone with a complaint about illegal activity occurring in a TABC Licensed location should contact their local TABC office which can be reached by dialing 1-888-THE-TABC. In El Paso, call 915-351-3697.

Chief Dexter Jones, TABC – Audit and Investigations, (512) 206-3300
Captain Ronald Swenson, TABC – Special Investigations Unit, (512) 206-3300
Chris Porter, TABC - Public Information Officer, (512) 206-3462