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Southlake restaurant caught in trafficking arrest loses liquor license

Southlake restaurant caught in trafficking arrest loses liquor license

Dragon House
Are the dumplings enough to survive? Photo courtesy of Dragon House

A Southlake restaurant that was investigated for prostitution by the Dallas Police Department has surrendered its liquor license and can no longer sell or serve alcohol.

According to a release from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Dragon House, located at 2640 E. Southlake Blvd., voluntarily canceled its liquor license after an investigation by TABC’s Special Investigations Unit.

The release from TABC says that their investigation uncovered ties between Dragon House and Jade Spa, a Dallas massage parlor whose owners are accused of human trafficking, prostitution, and other crimes.

Huh. One might say that the real investigation was by the Dallas Police Department, who shut the restaurant down in October following an investigation into prostitution.

But hey, if the TABC wants a little glory, who are we to begrudge.

Both Dragon House and Jade Spa were owned by Yong Bei Wang Murphy and Chung Shendelman. The Dallas Police Department arrested and charged the women with prostitution and promotion of organized criminal activity.

The DPD worked with state and federal partners as well as the Irving, Arlington, Grapevine, and Southlake Police Departments.

At the time, Major Max Geron, who helps oversee the DPD's criminal investigations bureau, praised the teamwork involved, saying, "The men and women of Dallas Police Department's Vice Unit and Narcotics Section, with our NGO partners, assembled a complex investigation of a criminal operation that reached into the suburbs and mid-cities."

This is where the TABC comes in. Their follow-up investigation found that funds were being sent from the massage parlor to the restaurant, indicating that the restaurant was being used to hide money stemming from illegal activity.

Cue the quote by TABC executive director Bentley Nettles:

"This case shows that human trafficking can infiltrate a TABC-licensed business, even when the crime itself isn’t taking place on the business premises," Nettles says in a statement. "By taking action quickly and decisively, we show criminals that they can’t use a legitimate business to hide dirty money."

Dragon House re-opened in November under management by its employees. Now, without liquor sales, they'll have to live or die on their dumplings alone.