The owner of shuttered South Austin Tex-Mex restaurant Jovita's, scheduled to go on trial in February for his alleged role as the leader of a heroin distribution ring, has died.
Law enforcement officials say Amado "Mayo" Pardo, a "strong patriarch," "community leader" and twice-convicted murderer, as he is described in the Austin American-Statesman, used his restaurant as a money-laundering front for gang-affiliated drug dealing. Pardo's lawyers argued that Jovita's was a legitimate business, and that what law enforcement officials said were code words for drugs and guns were nothing more than references to plans to convert the restaurant into a sports bar.
Pardo, 64, died this morning of terminal liver cancer. He'd been released from jail into hospice care last week.
· Jovita's Founder, Facing Federal Drug Charges, Dies [Statesman]
· All Jovita's Coverage On Eater Austin [-EATX-]