Owner of Downtown Bar Arrested in Connection to Cocaine Smuggling Ring

El Paso, TX (KTSM) - The owner of Downtown bar Pint & Peanut Public House, Alfonso Govea, was arrested by federal agents last Friday on allegations that he is involved in a drug smuggling ring working to distribute cocaine from El Paso to the Chicago area.

In the court documents that were filed in federal court on Monday, Govea is implicated along with his parents, Jose Guadalupe Torres-Magana and Patricia Torres.

According to the documents, an Under Cover Agent (UC) met with Govea's parents at the Starbucks located at 6049 Montana Ave. on Tuesday, November 15, in order to negotiate the transportation of six kilograms of cocaine from El Paso to Chicago. The negotiations allegedly involved the transportation of the cocaine in exchange for $1,300 per kilo if the UC would bring the pair the money back to El Paso.

Nearly a week later, on Monday November 21, the UC met with Torres-Magana at Bassett Place Mall. During that meeting Torres-Magana told the agent that he wanted to introduce him to his son, Alfonso Govea, who is the owner of Pint & Peanut Public House located at 518 W. San Antonio Ave. near Union Plaza. Patricia Torres is also listed as a corporation officer of the bar. During the meeting at Bassett Place Torres-Magana spoke with the undercover agent in code, saying that they'd be ready for "the party" starting "on Saturday" with "six bottles". The understanding was that six kilograms of cocaine would be delivered to the agent by the weekend.

Two days later, on November 23, the agent met again with Torres-Magana and finally with Govea at the Bassett Place Mall. During this meeting, Torres-Magana confirmed the previous negotiations with the agent and the three talked about where the pickup of the cocaine would happen. Initially the agent said he preferred a public parking lot, but Torres-Magana and Govea told the agent that they preferred a location that was less public that wouldn't have surveillance cameras.

Torres-Magana asked the undercover agent to come by the Pint & Peanut for a party to get to know Govea a little better.

After Thanksgiving, on Monday November 28, Alfonso Govea met the undercover agent in the parking lot of Bassett Place Mall and allegedly moved a white box containing cocaine to the undercover agent's backseat. The two drove around the mall's parking lot to finalize the details of the drug deal.

Agents later determined that the box contained six bundles weighing approximately 8.2 kilograms (18-pounds) of a white, powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

The next day, on November 29, the undercover agents met Torres-Magana and Torres at their home in the Lower Valley where he was given $1,000 as a transportation deposit to take the drugs to Chicago. During that meeting, the couple allegedly told the agent that they were hoping to expand the operation to two drivers with shipments of 30-40 kilograms with the two drivers taking shipments of 10-12 kilograms per trip.

December 1, Special Agents attempted to deliver the 8.2 kilogram shipment to co-conspirators at a Dunkin' Donuts in Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago. A problem with the delivery happened and Patricia Torres told the Undercover Agent that she'd be traveling to Chicago to make the delivery herself instead. She told the agent to just leave the cocaine with an associate in the Chicago area at the same time.

The Undercover agent traveled back to El Paso and met with Torres-Magana at the Starbucks for additional payment for the delivery of the cocaine and at the same time, Patricia Torres was attempting to meet with her contact in Chicago to make final delivery of the cocaine.

Undercover Special Agents in Chicago delivered the 8.2 kilograms to a man named Alejandro Omar Cuevas-Medina at a McDonald's parking lot in Aurora, Illinois on December 5th. Aurora Police conducted a traffic stop where they arrested Cuevas-Medina and Patricia Torres. Torres was later released from custody where she returned to El Paso.

The documents then go on to say that the Undercover Agent began getting threatening phone calls from Torres, Torres-Magana and a man identified as "FNU LNU" from Guadalajara alleging that the cocaine had never been delivered to Chicago. The unnamed man, FNU LNU told the undercover agent that he was not part of a low-level organization and that he'd have "enough firepower to finish off" the undercover agent and his family. He threatened that he'd begin killing off the undercover agent and his family if the matter wasn't resolved.

On Friday, December 16, HSI El Paso Special Agents arrested Torres-Magana and Torres at a lower Valley Convenience store and separately arrested Govea as he drove along Lee Trevino near N. Loop.

During an interview Govea denied having any involvement in the cocaine transaction repeatedly.

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