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Updated: Wednesday, 28 Mar 2012, 1:04 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012, 7:22 AM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The detention hearing for 10 people arrested following an FBI raid of downtown nightclubs last week began Tuesday morning with the suspects' entrance in green jumpsuits.
The FBI raid of four downtown nightclubs left 10 people arrested and charged with federal crimes -- including firearms, money laundering and drug trafficking that allegedly dates back to December 2007.
Hussein Ali Yassine, his two brothers and their executive assistant were in the group arrested in connection to the raid on several Sixth Streets bars between Neches and Trinity streets.
At the same time, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has said it will hold a hearing in the near future and plans to cancel eight of the liquor permits Yassine Enterprises holds for its clubs in Downtown Austin.
Based on the initials on jail suits -- some of them with green-and-white-stripes -- the suspects are being housed in different county jails throughout the area in accordance with federal contracts with local jails meant to ease overcrowding.
Each suspect walked bound by shackles and handcuffs before taking a seat inside the small, crowded courtroom, which was standing-room only. Some 60 friends and family members packed into the courtroom and stood in aisles, many of them emotional, crying into tissues.
Most of the 10 suspects have separate attorneys, though some are being represented jointly.
Represented by defense attorney Joe Turner, Roial general manager Sami Derder, 38, and Amar Thabet Araf, 29, left the courtroom after each posted $25,000 bond. Both are charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and distribution of cocaine.
Friends and family of those suspects hugged each other in relief at their release.
Another suspect was able to walk out of the courtroom after posting bond, though his name is not yet clear. All suspects who posted bond will have to go back to the county jail where they are being held to change clothes and fill out paperwork.
The judge denied bond to two of the Yassine brothers, Steve and Mike -- meaning they'll stay in jail even though friends and family were present and ready to put up a good sum of money to get them out.
There is fear he is a flight risk, and before making his decision, the judge pointed out that Steve drives a Maserati but hasn't paid taxes in four years.
Still, Steve Yassine's defense attorney argued that drug agents should have taken him off the streets back in 2008 if they thought he was such a danger to society.
A Drug Enforcement Administration agent took the stand and testified that they have recorded conversations -- both audiotapes and videotapes -- of drug sales and illegal gun sales from 3 1/2 years ago. The agent said videos show bags of money being carried into a club for a drug transaction.
The agent also said the only female suspect in this case is Mike Yassine's executive assistant and sister, Marisse Marthe Ruales, also known as "Madi." He said Ruales wrote checks throughout a two-year time period to complete money laundering and drug transactions, with the proceeds going into an account for Yassine Enterprises.
According to financial documents, her mortgage and car payments were coming out of that account, and the agent said she has not been reporting income on her tax returns.
Ruales shook her head throughout the testimony and appeared to be implying that those things were not true.
DEA officials said she lied to investigators about her role in all of this after she was arrested.
Meanwhile, the father of the three Yassine siblings, Ali Yassine, has said his "sons are clean" and that he was told no drugs were found during the raids.
Hussein is also known as Mike Yassine, who owns multiple bars in the Sixth Street District and other areas of Downtown Austin.
People arrested in FBI raid and list of charges
Hussein Ali Yassine, also known as "Mike," 40
Mohammed Ali Yassine, also known as "Steve," "Steve Austin" and "Hammudih," 38
Hadi Ali Yassine, 35
Marisse Marthe Ruales, also known as " Madi," executive assistant to Yassine brothers, 33
Alejandro Melendrez, also known as "Alex" and "Cueta," 42
Amar Thabet Araf, 29
Sami Derder, general manager of Roial, 38
Edgar Orsini, 40
Nizar Hakiki, also known as "Nino," 32
Karim Faiq, 29
U.S. Attorney John Murphy said the arrests were made without incident.
In addition, federal authorities wrangled up Roial general manager Sami Derder.
Authorities, meanwhile, were tight-lipped late last week with details about the raid, saying only that they were conducting operations at Treasure Island Bar, Kiss & Fly, Pure and Fuel -- each owned by Yassine Enterprises.
All of those bars were closed Thursday night, with a sign posted on their doors by TABC, stating their licenses were temporarily suspended.
Court documents indicate the accused must turn over a total of $275,050 to federal authorities, money federal authorities said represents property involved in the crimes.
Mike Lemoine, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service, said his agency along with TABC, the State Comptroller's Office and federal drug agents were also assisting in the operation. The Austin Police Department helped the FBI in the raid.
Federal hearings surrounding these charges happened Thursday in U.S. District Court.
Founded in 1996, Yassine Enterprises is owned by Yassine. Its headquarters is located at 213 W. Fourth St.
Venues listed on the Yassine Enterprises website
A lawsuit filed in September over labor laws was upgraded to a class-action suit in January. The suit names Roial, Malaia, Treasure Island, Kiss & Fly, Qua, Spill, and Pure and alleges that the clubs paid employees from tips pooled by the bar and servers without properly paying them their minimum wage salary.
The original suit alleges that the company that owns the clubs, Yassine LLC, did not pay the minimum $2.13 tip credit rate.
Meanwhile, in February, a patron of Qua nightclub filed a suit after an alleged sexual assault by club employees.
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