In November 2021, Dallas nightclub owner, Alfredo Hinojosa, and two of his nightclub managers were found guilty of allowing cocaine sales at his nightclubs in Fort Worth and Dallas.
An investigation that began in 2012, ended with 30 people convicted of a variety of drug crimes.
Knowledge of a Crime is Enough For Charges
According to a Dallas Morning News article, the owner and managers were not themselves selling drugs or accepting money from drug sales. Their defense attorney said they did not know who was selling drugs; federal authorities said they did and allowed the drug sales to continue because it attracted customers.
Wiretaps, Bugs and Cameras
In 2015, the FBI received court approval to install bugs and a camera in the office of the nightclub owner. They also conducted wiretaps. This FBI evidence was key in getting the conviction. The owner was recorded saying that he really couldn’t clean up the drug sales “because we lose business.”
Because that demonstrated knowledge of drug activities on the property, they were found guilty of managing a drug premises, conspiracy to manage drug premises, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
Informants and Witnesses
Security guards testified against the owner and managers as well as drug traffickers themselves who sold out of the clubs. While it’s unknown what happened behind the scenes in this case, it’s not unusual for prosecutors to cut a plea deal with some parties in order to get evidence against other parties. The owner and the managers were the last people to go to trial.
Two former Dallas police officers who worked at the clubs were also charged and convicted. One received three years’ probation; the other – the supervisor of nightclub security – faces a possible prison sentence.
Indictment in 2017; Court Case in 2021
The nightclub owner was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2017. When he appeared before a judge, he initially pled guilty. He later changed his plea to not guilty. Hinajosa’s case was originally intended to go to trial in March of 2020 but was delayed until September 2021 due to COVID. COVID safety precautions have led to many long delays in the justice system.
He made statements to federal authorities after his arrest that were recorded and played to the jury at his trial.
Talk to a Defense Lawyer If You Are Facing Drug Charges
Before you make any statement to law enforcement, talk to a lawyer. The drug crimes defense attorneys at Lee and Wood have extensive experience defending people against all types of drug crime charges. Call our Fort Worth law office at 817-678-6771 or contact us online.