TABC: Bar Employees Were Selling Drugs 10/9/12
October 9, 2012
A lengthy investigation into three west Texas bars including one owned by a former police officer is over.
The Texas alcoholic beverage commission says the bar employees were drug trafficking.
The operation took three years to conclude TABC says they want to send a message to drug traffickers across the Permian Basin it's not a job suited for everyone in law enforcement.
An agent who prefers to not release his identity says they went undercover to buy drugs from the bartenders and even the managers themselves.
“Just because they're small towns doesn’t mean drugs are not there,” he said, “They would introduce us to the bar or show us to people who could give us drugs.”
Good Times Lounge and Sandy Lounge in Fort Stockton along with Archway Club Bar and Grill in Monahans and a bar in Pecos called Cashes Bar were all under investigation.
Licenses for all of the bars were revoked and the businesses closed down.
“Cocaine,” he said, “We targeted cocaine.”
The agent says it was a dangerous job. He and his partners had several close calls.
“They wanted me to take a hit off of the drugs and I would not,” he said, “They patted me down to see if I had a wire.”
The agent says a former police officer with the Pecos Police Department owned Cash's Bar at the time.
“Texas Rangers and The Pecos Police were working together and asked us to assist.”
TABC says after their license to sell alcohol was cancelled the owners have one year before reapplying for another. CBS 7 spoke with Philip Standefer, the owner of Archway Club Bar and Grill who says by the end of this month they can reopen their business.
“What are you going to do to make sure there will be no drug trafficking at this club again?”
"Those people I leased to were involved with the drug trafficking are no longer here,” he said, “We have completely new management.”
The owner says he was not involved with what happened a year ago, but says he will closely oversee the next round of management. The TABC agent says so will they.
“We have not gone away we will be sitting next to you at the bar,” he said, “But you're not going to know its us.”
TABC obtained 24 indictments for conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.