AUSTIN (KXAN) - U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Tuesday set a Feb. 11 trial date for the owner of Jovita's restaurant, his wife and several associates were who arrested last month on drug and weapons charges.
Amado Pardo, 64, and Amanda Pardo, 45, were among those taken into custody after a raid at the restaurant on South First Street and at nearby residences in the early morning hours of June 21.
The Pardos were among 18 people rounded up by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies on drug and weapons charges. The trial date applies to the 15 suspects facing federal charges.
The raid was part of an investigation at 1619 S. First St. and a house in the 400 block of Milton Street. Eight other locations were also raided, police said. In all, police seized $1.5 million in assets, including the restaurant, weapons, vehicles and cash.
Police said 15 of the suspects were charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute heroin. The others are facing state felony charges for either possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute or possession of a controlled substance.
The raid was part of an extensive investigation involving the FBI, Austin police, the Travis County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety. They dubbed it "Operation Muerte Negra."
"The investigation into this organization revealed that Mr. Amado Pardo, AKA 'Mayo,' led this criminal operation and was responsible for daily heroin trafficking," Austin police said in a statement issued on the day of the raid. "The organized criminal drug operation was estimated to have daily sales between $3,400 to $6,250. Amado Pardo is the owner of Jovita's restaurant.
"During the investigation, investigators were able to determine that large amounts of heroin were kept, sold, and distributed from several locations in and around Central Texas using the city of Austin as the base of their operations."
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