AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and the City of Houston today announced the joint filing of a civil lawsuit against Las Flores Club located at 2027 McCarty and an adjacent property located at 2031 McCarty in Houston, Texas. The Attorney General's lawsuit names Diane Marquez, the property owner and Lilia Cerda, the club owner. The City of Houston's lawsuit is filed against Raquel Garcia, Diane Marquez and Lilia Cerda. According to police records, Las Flores and 2031 McCarty have been the site of repeated drug, prostitution and alcohol violations.
"If you allow your property to be a haven for illegal activity, we will shut you down," said Attorney General Cornyn. "I commend the Houston Police Department and the City Attorney's Office for their work. Those property owners who knowingly allow the law to be broken will pay the price."
Since 1998, nearly 60 offense reports have been generated from illegal drug, prostitution and alcohol violations at Las Flores. Nearly 60 people have been charged with and/or convicted on prostitution or prostitution related offenses for the same time period. Also, from 1998 to present, criminal violations on the properties have resulted in over 100 calls for police service.
The Attorney General's office and the City of Houston have been working together on this case since March.
The Attorney General's lawsuit asks that the Las Flores nightclub be shut down for a year, unless the property owners post a bond of $1,000. The City of Houston's lawsuit asks that both properties be shut down for a year, unless the property owners post individual bonds of $10,000 each. These lawsuits also ask that the defendants pay investigative costs and attorneys fees to the state and the City of Houston.
State law allows the Attorney General to file suit against properties that constitute common nuisances by virtue of repeated criminal activity. Fourteen nuisance abatement lawsuits have been filed against properties since Attorney General Cornyn took office. Two properties in Fort Worth have been shut down.
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