Details of this story
Officials in New Jersey have stripped a bar of its liquor license, forcing it to close, because of allegations that the owner was running a cockfighting enterprise and heading an illegal gambling operation.
The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control took the license from the New Ranchi City Bar and Liquor Store in Paterson, New Jersey. The establishment was initially given a 90-day suspension of its liquor license and the license has now permanently revoked, effective July 24. This means that alcohol can no longer be sold or served on the premises.
The establishment was raided in November 2016, when police found records of an illegal gambling operation and three roosters. There was also a ring in the basement where cockfights were held, along with fighting outfits for the birds. Unfortunately, when roosters have been bred for fighting, they have to be euthanized when they are seized by the authorities in a case like this one.
Convictions for the owner
The raid led to the conviction in 2017 of the owner, Felix Grullon, on gambling charges. One of the barmen was also charged with a number of offenses. If you get convicted for such an offense, you can no longer hold a liquor license.
There has been no indication whether further charges were filed pertaining to the allegations of a cockfighting ring. The activity is illegal in all 50 states. Louisiana was the final state to outlaw cockfighting following the passage of legislation in 2007. It is currently a felony offense in 40 of the 50 states.
The bar had a history of getting into trouble with law enforcement. A couple of months after the raid, the business was cited for selling alcohol to someone who was underage and another citation was issued in January 2017 after the discovery of an illegal pool table and five small containers of marijuana.
In July 2017, the establishment got into more trouble, this time it was for allowing indoor smoking. This is yet another offense in the Garden State and it came with a number of other small offenses. Some locals are happy to see the bar shut down.
The local councilman in Paterson is Luis Velez, who spoke recently about the closure. He believes that now the establishment has closed, the neighborhood will get a boost. He said: “We gave them (the bar) an opportunity to be good neighbors. The residents raised their concerns, their fears, and we took action.” He went on to say that the children walking to the four nearby schools will now be safer as a result of the closure.