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April 27, 2022

TABC suspends Laredo bar following long-term trafficking investigation

Emergency order prohibits alcohol sales at Reyna’s Club for 90 days

AUSTIN — A Laredo bar is banned from selling alcoholic beverages for 90 days after investigators from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s Special Investigations Unit found evidence of narcotics trafficking, prostitution and drink solicitation.

Reyna’s Club, 511 San Agustin Avenue in Laredo, was the subject of a TABC emergency order issued this week following a long-term investigation that began in May 2021. TABC agents began the investigation after receiving multiple complaints related to potential human trafficking at the site. The business had also been the subject of multiple calls for service by the Laredo Police Department, including complaints related to public lewdness and assault. A series of inspections by TABC investigators later found cause to suspend the business’s permit for 90 days.

Section 11.614 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code authorizes TABC to suspend a business’s liquor license or permit for up to 90 days if it’s believed that the continued operation of the business could prove a risk to public safety. During the suspension, no alcohol may be served or sold at the location.

“Crimes such as narcotics trafficking, prostitution, or drink solicitation are often strong indicators of possible human trafficking,” said Bentley Nettles, TABC Executive Director. “As Texas’ sole alcohol regulator, TABC is committed to investigating any potential trafficking taking place in the businesses we license. Organized crime has no place in Texas.”

The Texas Legislature in 2019 made the investigation of human trafficking a top priority for TABC, giving the agency the authority to investigate organized crime, including trafficking, prostitution, and drink solicitation, which is the act of overcharging customers when they purchase drinks for bar employees.

The case remains under investigation.

Media Contact:

Chris Porter

TABC Public Information Officer

(512) 206-3462