El Parral’s liquor license suspended after drug raid

Methamphetamine was seized at the restaurant last week

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

Published:

Updated: August 10, 2011, 7:00 PM

 
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El Parral liquor violation history

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The Washington State Liquor Control Board has issued an emergency liquor license suspension for El Parral Mexican Restaurant and Night Club.

The suspension began Wednesday and is for up to 180 days, while the state seeks revocation of the restaurant’s license. The downtown Vancouver restaurant is at 704 Main St.

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the liquor control board is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal, according to a news release from the board. The state has not issued any other emergency suspensions in 2011 and issued only two suspensions in 2009 and two more in 2010.

The emergency suspension of El Parral’s license is the result of alleged criminal activity conducted on the premise by the restaurant’s manager, according to the news release.

Authorities searched the restaurant/nightclub and a van Friday and seized more than 16 pounds of methamphetamine.

Ricardo Estrada, 43, of Vancouver and Francisco Cervantes, 47, of Vancouver were arrested on federal charges. Estrada operated El Parral.

Federal and Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force officers were investigating Estrada since May, when he allegedly provided a sample of meth to a federal confidential source at El Parral. Then, between June and July, Estrada allegedly sold nearly 1 pound of crystal meth and a .45-caliber handgun to a confidential source, according to authorities.

The liquor control board issued three separate public safety violations related to the methamphetamine sales and one violation related to the unlawful possession of a firearm.