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Nov 22, 2021

TABC Inspection Leads to Felony Arrest for Drug and Weapon Violations at Harris Co. Liquor Store

HARRIS COUNTY — An inspection of a liquor store by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has resulted in the felony arrest of a Harris County man along with the seizure of several pounds of marijuana and firearms. TABC agents made the arrest while inspecting D&K Spring Liquor at 23311 Aldine Westfield Road in Spring on Nov. 17. Arrested was 37-year-old Damian Shimfarr, who was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of marijuana. Shimfarr was taken to the Harris County Jail and later released after posting bond. The drugs and firearms were discovered by TABC agents along with approximately $6,000 in cash. Among the firearms were two handguns and an AR-15-style rifle. “Drugs, guns and cash fuel organized crime, and TABC will not tolerate crime at businesses we regulate,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “We will follow this arrest with a full investigation to hold accountable anyone who’s using a licensed business as a hub for illegal activity.” TABC is continuing the investigation and will explore possible administrative action against the business. Anyone with information about illegal activity within a TABC-licensed business can file a report on the TABC website, by emailing complaints@tabc.texas.gov or by calling 888-THE-TABC.   Media Contact: Chris Porter – Public Information Officer chris.porter@tabc.texas.gov (512) 206-3462

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Nov 23, 2021

AIMS Updates – Nov. 23, 2021

TABC has updated the AIMS Updates webpage containing an ongoing list of Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS) improvements and issues the agency is working to resolve. View the AIMS Updates page.

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Nov 19, 2021

TABC Offering Assistance to Military Veterans Seeking To Start Business in Alcoholic Beverage Industry

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is working with statewide organizations and business leaders to assist military service members seeking to start their own businesses within the alcoholic beverage industry. TABC’s Empowering Texas Veterans initiative, launched in 2019, partners veterans who have established a business in the industry with protégés who want to begin a business on their own. The mentor will advise the protégé on issues and challenges associated with establishing a new company. “Our number-one goal with this program is to make sure there is no wrong door for veterans seeking information about breaking into the alcoholic beverage industry,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “We are proud to work with our partner agencies to ensure eligible veterans are directed to the right people with the right answers as they take their first steps into the industry.” As the state’s regulator of the alcoholic beverage industry, TABC ensures mentors are able to assist potential business owners throughout the application process. Multiple Texas state agencies, including the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Veterans Commission and Texas Comptroller, assist both mentors and protégés by providing administrative support as well as information on issues such as veterans’ benefits, licensing fees and more. For more information about the program, help with starting a business, or to download an application, visit the TABC Veterans page. TABC Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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Nov 17, 2021

TABC Chairman Kevin Lilly Discusses Human Trafficking on National Program

HOUSTON — Chairman of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Kevin J. Lilly discussed human trafficking in Texas and the importance of preventing these crimes on a recent episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight. “These are situations where you have 300,000 individuals in Texas based upon a University of Texas study are being trafficked in Texas now,” Lilly said on Tucker Carlson Tonight.  Watch video clip. Read the transcript.   Background TABC is on the front lines of dismantling human trafficking organizations with connections to the alcoholic beverage industry. The Commission’s authority gives agents the unparalleled ability to uncover criminal enterprises that use bars, clubs, restaurants and other businesses to hide their illegal activity. Since 2013, the agency has canceled the liquor permits of more than 130 businesses accused of engaging in organized crime, including human trafficking, narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Read about TABC’s mission to combat trafficking.

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Nov 15, 2021

TABC Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles Announces Intent To Retire

AUSTIN — Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles has announced his intent to retire as the agency’s 14th director of day-to-day operations, following a five-year tenure that saw the regulatory agency achieve new highs in customer service, public safety and modernization. Nettles, who was appointed by the commission in May 2017, will retire from the position on April 30, 2022, after a career in public service spanning 37 years. Nettles will work with the five-member commission to help select his successor, who will take leadership of an agency responsible for regulating more than 58,000 businesses across Texas. “As General George S. Patton said during World War II, ‘All good things must come to an end,’” Nettles said. “This decision has been a long time in the making, and I wanted to ensure that TABC was in a good place prior to a transition in leadership. Thanks to the hard work of our more than 600 employees and their dedication to service across Texas, I believe now is the right time to announce my retirement.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Nettles’ tenure as executive director promoted the state’s alcoholic beverage industry while helping keep Texans safe. “General Nettles’ leadership as executive director of TABC has made Texas safer and our businesses better,” Abbott said. “On behalf of all Texans, I thank General Nettles for his 37 years of tremendous service to the Lone Star State and congratulate him on his retirement.”  Nettles was appointed to lead TABC after successful careers as an attorney and as a member of the Texas Army National Guard, where he rose to the rank of brigadier general. His experience leading large organizations during times of transition was key to his selection as executive director, according to TABC Chairman Kevin Lilly. “There’s no question that General Nettles was the best person for the job,” Lilly said. “TABC faced incredible challenges when he came on board, and thanks in large part to his leadership, he will leave behind a stronger, more modern and more trusted agency. I speak for the entire commission when I offer our thanks for a job well done and well wishes for what will surely be a bright future. I would also be remiss in not lauding his efforts in developing what is now considered one of the premier law enforcement agencies in fighting the scourge of human trafficking.” TABC reached numerous milestones under Nettles’ leadership, including the successful implementation of historic legislative changes and recommendations from the Sunset Advisory Commission following its review of the agency in 2019. Those include the consolidation of multiple license and permit types, bringing the total number of permit types from 75 to 37; new standards that make it easier for malt beverage manufacturers to enter the industry; and efficiencies in policy and rulemaking to make the process more transparent while ensuring stakeholder participation. Nettles also oversaw the creation of numerous internal and external agency programs, including: A regulatory warning system to help businesses avoid administrative penalties and fees. A standardized penalty schedule for use when assessing administrative violations. A TCOLE-approved training program to help peace officers investigate suspected human trafficking. The Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies (TRACE) unit, which ensures an immediate response to incidents such as DWIs, assaults or homicides. A top-to-bottom redesign and update of the TABC website. The Alcohol Industry Management System (AIMS), a new online portal allowing business owners to apply for licenses and permits, file reports and more from their computers or mobile devices. The Empowering Texas Veterans Initiative, which assists service members seeking to start a business in the alcoholic beverage industry. The agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed businesses to operate safely while ensuring compliance with state health and safety guidelines. “I couldn’t be prouder of everything TABC has accomplished over the past five years, and it was all thanks to the incredible work of our TABC employees and of the alcoholic beverage industry,” Nettles said. “I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done to serve the people of Texas. First and foremost, however, I owe a deep debt to my wife Tracey. Everything I’ve accomplished throughout my career is thanks to her support and love, and I’m truly grateful for everything she’s done for me and our two boys over the years. I’m looking forward to dedicating more time for my family while enjoying the opportunity to read about TABC’s future accomplishments.” To learn more about TABC and its mission, visit tabc.texas.gov. TABC Media Contact: Chris Porter TABC Public Information Officer media@tabc.texas.gov

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