Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Feds still quiet on El Mezcal probe

By The Herald Staff | 7/26/2013

Ask, and one shall not necessary receive.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials remained mum late this week regarding its investigation of El Mezcal Mexican restaurant in downtown Ottawa.

Ask, and one shall not necessary receive.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials remained mum late this week regarding its investigation of El Mezcal Mexican restaurant in downtown Ottawa.

“Like any other law enforcement agency we do not discuss on-going investigations,” Shawn Neudauer, public affairs officer with the agency, said.

El Mezcal, 402 S. Main St., Ottawa, remains dark inside with an orange “close” sign in the window.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, with assistance from other local and regional agencies, shut down the restaurant June 14 as part of a criminal investigation, authorities said.

“Special agents with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] Homeland Security Investigation, with the assistance of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Overland Park Police Department and the Ottawa Police Department, conducted a law enforcement operation” at the restaurant, Neudauer said previously.

Three restaurants in Lawrence operate under the name “El Mezcal,” with locations at 804 S. Iowa St.; 1819 W. 23rd St.; and 1520 Wakarusa St., Suite F.

Beto Aquilar, who works at the Lawrence El Mezcal operations, reportedly is opening a new Mexican restaurant, El Patron, next month at 711 Eighth St. in Baldwin City, according to the Baldwin City Signal. The restaurant is expected to serve the same food and drink menus as El Mezcal.

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