Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan obtained a court order on Friday shutting down Avani Lounge, an unlicensed bar in Southwest Houston. When Houston Police officers served the court order early Sunday morning, they found 600 patrons inside the bar with alcoholic drinks. Read More
Judge Michael Landrum of the 113th District Court of Harris County entered a temporary restraining order on May 12 closing the bar at 6603 Harwin Drive and ordering it to remain closed until a valid liquor license is obtained. Avani Lounge operates as an after-hours bar, serving alcohol after 2 a.m., but does not have a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan won a restraining order and asset freeze against the owners of two smoke shops and their supplier to stop the sale of synthetic marijuana, an illegal drug known on the streets as “kush.” .The lawsuit stemmed from a lengthy investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County Constable Precinct 4, Conroe Police Department, and Houston Police Department to target the distributors of synthetic marijuana.
The restraining order prohibits the owners of Discount Smoke & Gift Shop at 11106 Veterans Memorial and Mr. Smoke & Gift Shop at 2946 Gears Road from selling kush and other illegal substances. Narcotics officers executed a federal search warrant and retrieved large quantities of kush, as well as hashish, ecstasy, marijuana, hydrocodone, and other controlled substances, which were hidden throughout the stores. Read More
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is taking steps to shut down a store that was believed to be illegally selling synthetic marijuana.Ryan obtained a restraining order Wednesday against the owners of the Smoke & Tote Shop at 12127 Bissonnett Street.
They were told to cease operations. Investigators said the store was participating in criminal activity. Ryan also ordered the Lock Lim Management Trust, the owner of the shopping center in which the store is located, to take steps to close the store immediately. Read More
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan won a restraining order Wednesday from a Harris County civil district court against the owners of an Alief shopping center and their tenant to close the store and stop the sale of synthetic marijuana.
Judge Randy Wilson, of the 157th Civil District Court of Harris County, ordered the owners of the Smoke & Tote Shop located at 12127 Bissonnet to cease operations, finding the store participated in criminal activity. He also ordered the Lock Lim Management Trust, the owner of the shopping center, to take measures to close the store immediately. Read More
BAYTOWN, Texas - The Harris County Attorney’s Office said on behalf of the State of Texas, it has filed a lawsuit against a Chevron truck stop accused of not stopping illegal activity.
According to the lawsuit that was filed on Thursday, it states that the gas station, located at 1901 East Freeway, is well known to the community and law enforcement for drugs, prostitution, assaults on the property and illegal gambling. Read More
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a Constable and the County in which a former deputy constable claimed his rights were violated under the American with Disabilities Act and First Amendment. Read More
The hits just keep on coming for Pasadena Refining System Inc., one of the oldest refineries in Texas.
Shortly after being slapped with a federal lawsuit in which two environmental groups alleged the century-old refinery has violated the federal Clean Air Act, the company, owned and operated by Petrobras, the state-run Brazilian petroleum company, has been tapped again, this time for alleged violations of state environmental laws. Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan recently filed an enforcement action in state district court seeking to hold the company responsible for repeated violations of state environmental protection laws.
Ryan's filing came hot on the heels of the federal lawsuit filed last Thursday by the Sierra Club and Environment Texas, as we previously reported. Their suit is a citizen-enforcement claiming the refinery company has violated the Clean Air Act "thousands" of times, releasing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions in amounts that violate hourly and yearly limits set by the law.
A Houston judge issued a Friday order forbidding the Galleria-area ClubAtlanta from serving alcohol, even with the big-business Super Bowl weekend just ahead.
After police accused the club of blatantly advertising all-night hours in violation of state law, Judge Patricia Kerrigan slapped the troubled watering hole with an order "necessary to prevent the threatened or ongoing violation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code," according to court documents. Read More
While the State Bar of Texas is normally responsible for stopping lawyers from defrauding the public, in an unusual move, the Harris County Attorney's Office has stepped in to stop the practice of a Houston immigration attorney who allegedly took $140,000 from over 50 clients and offered them no legal work in return.
The prosecutor's office recently filed the deceptive trade practice and fraud action in Harris County District Court against Prince Uchechi Nwakanma and The Prince Law Group and obtained a temporary restraining order that prevents Nwakanma from practicing as a lawyer and freezes the assets of his firm.
According to the petition in Texas v. Nwakanma, Nwakanma graduated from Texas Southern University Law School in 2002 but failed the Texas bar exam twice and has never been licensed in the state. Instead, he obtained a law license in Kansas and set up an immigration practice in Houston in 2003. Lawyers are permitted to use out-of-state licenses to practice in federal immigration courts. Read More
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has won a court order against an attorney who was charging his clients thousands of dollars for immigration legal work that was never performed.
The lawsuit, filed by Ryan on behalf of the State of Texas, accuses Uchechi Okechukwu Nwakanma and his agents of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by defrauding local residents of thousands of dollars for legal services related to immigration matters. The suit says Nwakanma charged unsuspecting clients for legal services that were never performed.
Nwakanma is also accused of engaging in false, misleading and deceptive trade practices by promising wholly unrealistic or even legally unattainable results in immigration matters, charging thousands in legal fees based on those false hopes and refusing to refund his clients’ money when they discovered they had been deceived. Read More
The Super Bowl is days from kick off right here in Houston. Unfortunately, big sporting events often bring big problems with human trafficking. What's being done to fight it? Well, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is saying, 'not in my town.' He’s launching a new effort that's the first of its kind in the country.
He released a whole list of companies that Ryan says are run by criminals who are making money using sex slaves. ”Often they're under age. Often they have no choice but to continue to do this if they want to survive. Clearly they're unlicensed massage parlors. That is not legal.”
”There are over 300 of these illicit massage parlors. There are more illicit sexually oriented businesses in our town than there are Starbucks and we need to be ashamed of that,” adds Dr. Bob Sanborn with Children At Risk. The county attorney is working with the non-profit Children at Risk to identify the alleged bogus businesses that are often in plazas operating in plain sight as police work constantly to shut them down. Read More
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and Children at Risk today announced a collaboration to fight the horrific crime of human trafficking.
Project AWESOME—Attorneys Working to End Sexually-Oriented Massage Establishments—will partner the County Attorney’s Office and Children at Risk with lawyers from the Reed Smith law firm to close down unlicensed massage parlors which often are fronts for prostitution and human trafficking that force women and children who have been trafficked to work as prostitutes.
Reed Smith will provide volunteer lawyers to supplement the work being done by the County Attorney’s Office to shut down these businesses by various means as public nuisances. Children at Risk has initially identified over 200 unlicensed establishments which will be targeted immediately. Read More
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, joined by city officials and the Attorney General’s Office, won a restraining order against Texas Tobacco and Smoke Shop to stop the sale of synthetic marijuana, an illegal drug known on the streets as “Kush.”
On Wednesday, January 19th, Judge Jeff Shadwick, 55th Civil District Court, ordered the owners of the Texas Tobacco and Smoke Shop located at 5300 Telephone Road to immediately cease selling any synthetic marijuana. In August, officers with Houston Police Department Narcotics Division conducted an undercover narcotics investigation at the shop. During the investigation, the officer purchased 25 bags of Kush as well as “Dro”, the street term for hydroponic marijuana. When officers returned to the store with a search warrant, they found the drugs stored in unmarked, white bags, a common practice in order to circumvent law enforcement. Read More