On Sept. 15, federal, state and local law enforcement officers arrested 14 people during a raid at a Texas pool hall. The defendants were allegedly involved in drug crimes and human trafficking.
Media reports indicate the arrests were the culmination of a months-long investigation conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies. They included Homeland Security Investigations, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the Harris County District Attorney's Office and the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.
During the investigation, agents discovered evidence that drugs were being sold at the El Condor Pool Hall on Veterans Memorial Drive in Houston. A search warrant was served at the property, and agents allegedly uncovered several grams of cocaine, heroin and other narcotics. Approximately $6,700 in cash was also seized. In addition, there is a suspicion that human trafficking was taking place at the property. Agents interviewed 19 women about the accusations during the investigation. Because drugs were found on the property, the TABC revoked the pool hall's liquor license.
Individuals convicted of federal crimes could face harsh consequences, including years in prison, hefty fines and the seizure of certain assets. In addition, those who are released from prison are left with the stigma of a permanent criminal record. Because the stakes are so high, it may be beneficial for defendants to work with a criminal defense attorney familiar with federal cases. The attorney could carefully assess the case and explain all defense strategies available, including fighting the allegations in court and negotiating a plea deal that reduces the charges. These strategies could help the defendant avoid conviction or obtain a lighter sentence.
Source: KWTX, "Texas pool hall closed, 14 arrested in drug, trafficking probe", Sept. 20, 2018