Eastside Bar Is a Gangster Drug Market, Authorities Allege
The El Troquero Bar in Boyle Heights is a haven for gang members and buyers and sellers of cocaine and meth, according to the L.A. City Attorney's Office, which is attempting to wrest the bar from its owners, at least temporarily, and hand it over to a court-appointed receiver.
City prosecutors have a record of almost always getting what they want with these suits.
The filing alleges that the watering hole has been the location of "rampant" crime, drug sales and guns. It documents two shootings inside, two shootings outside (one fatal) and an open-door policy for gang members.
"For several years, El Troquero Bar allegedly has served as a base for gang activity, regularly allegedly employing persons (including a Tiny Boys gang member) who facilitate the sale of narcotics there, such as cocaine and methamphetamine," according to a statement from the office. "The bar also is alleged to unlawfully sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated individuals, and to pay a commission to persons who solicit alcoholic drinks from patrons. Other nuisance activity allegedly regularly spills out of the bar into the surrounding community, including a myriad of violent crimes such as assaults, robberies at gunpoint and shootings."
Bar owner Jesus Muniz Rivera is identified in the filing, as are the property's owners, named as the trustees of the Katz Family Trusts. Employees Mario Rodriguez, Victor Jesus Lombera, Marisol Del Rio Lombera and Deisy Joanna Calderon are also named.
Prosecutors want all of them to be ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from the business for the duration of an injunction they're seeking. Otherwise the place could stay open, with conditions: no drug sales, no soliciting drinks and no guns. The lawsuit also seeks to force metal detectors, video cameras and licensed security guards on the business.
"As is too often the case, a single property can erode public safety and the quality of life for an entire neighborhood," city attorney Mike Feuer said. "Every business and property owner has a responsibility to the community. My office will continue to hold accountable those whom we allege flout the law or facilitate illicit illegal activity."
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