Jovita's owner, alleged drug ring leader Pardo dies at 64

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by KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 11:39 AM

AUSTIN -- A prominent Austin restauranteur, who was accused of being the ring leader of a heroin smuggling operation, has died.

Amado "Mayo" Pardo was arrested in June when federal authorities raided Jovita's Restaurant and Bar on South First Street. Fourteen other people were also arrested. Authorites seized $1.5 million in assets and $38,000 in drugs, money, guns and real estate in that raid.

Pardo died on Tuesday at the age of 64. The Austin American-Statesman reports that his attorney said he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Police say he was the leader of a heroin distribution ring which was operated behind the scenes of the restaurant and music venue. Jovita's had been owned by Pardo's family for close to 20 years.

The Austin American-Statesmen reports that Pardo had served three prison sentences during his life, and two of those were for murder.

Pardo was released on bond earlier this month because his health was deteriorating.

He was supposed to stand trial Feb. 11.

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