Judge throws bar owner in jail, forces business to close for 1 year

- "There were multiple crimes committed at this location," explains assistant Harris County Attorney Rosemarie Donnelly. In fact, the Harris County County Attorney's Office says law enforcement officers have been called to D'PLace on Bissonnet Street many times.

"The patrol officer assigned to this particular location said she goes by this location every night," adds Donnelly.

In less than a year, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission documented 16 violations for serving alcohol after hours at D'Place, according to court documents.

"Also the level of crime, violent crime, the drug dealing, it's a known location for prostitution and the prostitutes and pimps would hang out at the bar," says Donnelly.

A man was shot to death in the parking lot of D'Place on Feb.18. Almost a week after that incident, the County Attorney's office filed a nuisance lawsuit and the club's owner, Anselem Eze, was ordered by the court to do several things.

"To engage uniform police officers to check I.D., to do bag checks," said Donnelly.

The owner's attorney tells FOX 26 News that his client couldn't hire uniformed officers because his liquor license had expired, so he hired security guards instead.

"The security guards would tip off the bartenders before the TABC agents could get through the door and actually witness them pouring alcohol and serving alcohol to the customers," said Donnelly.

Eze's attorney said his client is a victim of circumstance. He also said the bar owner had no control over all the crime in the area and did his best to keep illegal activity out of his business. While the attorney admitted the business may have strayed on some of the judge's orders, he said he and the bar owner didn't expect the judge to hand down the maximum sentence -- 30 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

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