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Thread: Gangs, Drugs and Music....oh, and food

  1. #1
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    Default Gangs, Drugs and Music....oh, and food

    Heard rumblings Wednesday morning that "something big" was going down. The feds are really cracking down on drug rings in Austin and the Austin restaurant/music district. This is the second place shut down in as many months. I am soooo glad Austin doesn't have a gang/drug problem!!

    rkb


    http://www.statesman.com/news/local/...FcD-OgP4.email

    Authorities raid Jovita's restaurant as 18 face federal heroin charges

    By Steven Kreytak, Patrick George and Claudia Grisales
    AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
    Updated: 5:43 a.m. Friday, June 22, 2012
    Published: 10:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, 2012


    Federal authorities are seeking to seize the well-known South Austin restaurant and music venue Jovita's under a federal indictment that charges 15 people, including three members of the family that owns the South First Street business, with heroin distribution.
    Austin police said that three of those indicted including 64-year-old Amado "Mayo" Pardo, one of the founders of Jovita's were members of the Texas Syndicate prison gang. The organization made drug deals in and around the restaurant and was responsible for more than $6,000 in drug sales a day, police said.
    Authorities said the indictment and subsequent arrests Thursday have put a major dent in the local heroin trade.
    "We believe Texas Syndicate ... is one of the most violent gangs in the state," said Gary Albus, a commander with the Texas Department of Public Safety. "They mainly operate on drug trafficking, so this is a great disruption."
    Early Thursday, 10 homes and businesses, including Jovita's and two nearby houses, were raided by officials from the FBI, Austin police, and state and county law enforcement agencies.
    In all, 18 people have been arrested in the case including three who face state drug charges.
    Amado Pardo's wife, Amanda Pardo, who is also charged in the indictment, owns the property at 1619 S. First St. where Jovita's is located, according to county appraisal records.
    The Texas secretary of state's office lists the owner of the business as Mayo Jovita's Inc., whose president is Jovita Pardo Patino. Patino, who is Amado Pardo's sister and is not among those indicted, could not be reached for comment.
    Amado Pardo's lawyer, Ben Florey, said his client was surprised by the charges.
    "He's been a member of the community for 40 years," Florey said, "and is well-known and well-liked and has been a prominent businessman in South Austin."
    Lawyers for the other defendants either could not be reached or declined to comment.
    Police and federal officials said that Pardo has been a Texas Syndicate member for more than 30 years and was convicted of murder in 1972 and 1985.
    According to prison officials, Pardo was sentenced to eight years in prison on the 1985 murder conviction and was released in 1987.
    Pardo's brother Jose Pardo, 68, is also charged in the case. According to prison officials, he was sentenced in 1987 in Travis County to 25 years in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 10 years for escape and 20 years for possession of heroin.
    Police officials said Jose Pardo is also a Texas Syndicate member, as is suspect Michael Martinez, 66.
    Police Cmdr. Donald Baker said investigators believe Amado Pardo has been selling heroin out of Jovita's for years. "It's a very visible point for people to come in and out of; that wouldn't draw attraction to residents," he said.
    Police officials said they began investigating the group about a year ago.
    The indictment contains few details on the investigation and says only that the defendants are accused of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin from May 2011 through June 15.
    The charge is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.
    In addition to Jovita's, prosecutors are also seeking to seize the interests that Pardo and his wife have at 1615 S. First St. and two additional properties across East Bouldin Creek from the restaurant 404 and 405 Milton St.
    The indictment alleges that the properties may be seized because they were derived from the proceeds of drug dealing or were intended to be used to facilitate the crime. In all, tax rolls show the Pardos or their affiliated businesses owning at least five Travis County properties valued at more than $2.4 million combined.
    Neighbors on Milton Street said that authorities moved in a predawn raid. Later in the morning, law enforcement officials could be seen searching with dogs and pickaxes the backyards of the homes in the 400 block of Milton Street, one of which is owned by Jovita's Inc. and the other of which is owned by Amanda and Amado Pardo, according to the Travis County Appraisal District.
    Police emerged from one of the homes with bags of seized items, including several ammunition boxes.
    Baker, who oversees the department's organized crime efforts, said that in all of the raids, authorities seized more than 330 grams of heroin, close to $40,000 in cash, plus vehicles, real estate and weapons.
    Amado Pardo, his wife and his brother Jose Pardo were among the defendants who appeared Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane, who explained the charges and their rights and spoke to them about whether they intended to hire lawyers.
    During the hearing, Amado Pardo and Jose Pardo told the judge that they both suffer from liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. Amado Pardo said he also suffers from Parkinson's disease.
    Jovita's Restaurante y Cantina was founded in the early 1990s and "built piece-by-piece, room-by-room," according to the restaurant's website.
    It's "a cultural mecca that effortlessly mixes cowboy songs with fine Mexican food and bright, beautiful murals depicting heroes and heroines of indigenous people," the restaurant's website says. Jovita's "stands out more than any other establishment."
    According to the Texas secretary of state's office, Jovita's founders filed incorporation papers for the business in August 1994, listing its partners as Jovita Patino, her brother Amado Pardo and his wife, Amanda Pardo.
    By the early 2000s, Jovita's had joined a growing line of funky South Austin hangouts to take in musical acts.
    That year, the associated Jovita's Records released its debut "Live! @ Jovita's" CD, launching a series of compilation tracks by various artists, including the Vanguards and the Cornell Hurd Band.
    Amado Pardo quickly became the face of the business. His reputation for political activism grew, and he hosted regular political fundraisers. In 2009, the Austin Chronicle dubbed him the "best mayor of South Austin," and Pardo told the weekly he had eyed the South First property as a future home for a family business since growing up in the area.
    Pardo, who participated in City Council and Austin school board meetings, said Jovita's married his love of politics with music.
    "I used to walk by here and always thought, I'm gonna open up this place,' " Pardo told the Chronicle. "It's like a dream you keep having over and over."
    rkb


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  2. #2
    ASD Senior Member Jim Trueblood's Avatar
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    Heroin.....Enchilada Style.
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  3. #3

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    Another one bites the dust!!
    Human beings understand and respect compassion, kindness, empathy, truth, fairness and logic.
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