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Jaguars Gold Club permanently closed after lawsuit settlement

Gianluca Cuevas
Investigations revealed club was a hot spot for criminal activities.

Jaguars Gold Club, a well-known strip club on the east side, has been permanently closed after a lawsuit was filed with the County Attorney’s Office. The club, located at 11377 Gateway Blvd W. received a temporary restraining order Feb. 22. from the City of El Paso due to suspicions and accusations of illegal activity. 

The County Attorney’s Office filed a civil lawsuit Feb. 23 against RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc., and managers of the business Angel Richard “Ricco” Torres, Donnell Lee James, and Javier Diaz for allegedly violating the Sexually Oriented Business Ordinances under Title 5 of the city code.

According to city officials, over 25 alleged violations of the Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance were cited.

“These alleged violations include issues such as failure to have a business license, unauthorized sale of beer/alcohol, prostitution, illicit drug use, drug trafficking, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and more,” city officials said in a news release. 

El Paso and state investigators say they found evidence that the business had become a center for illegal activity. More than 750 calls to authorities were made from January 2018 to Dec. 31, 2023. These calls concerned reports of the discharge of firearms, prostitution, assault, drug delivery and more.

According to the 41st District Court records, the lawsuit reached a settlement agreement on March 19. A new business can open at the same location under strict restrictions set forth by the settlement.

The business cannot use “Jaguars Gold Club,” or any variation of the name and cannot operate as a Sexually Oriented Business. In addition, any new business located at 11377 Gateway Blvd W. may not include the word “strip” in advertisements or promotions. 

Before a new establishment opens, new owners must apply for a license or permit to sell and serve alcohol and the previous owners of the club will no longer be employed. 

Increased security measures, lighting, and a mandatory closing time of 2:15 a.m. are required. Also, the company has to pay a $5,000 bond to the county and a $446 court fee before a new business opens, as stated by the 41st District Court documents. 

Although concerns about the establishment were temporarily relieved, many El Paso community members are now worried about another club opening in place of Jaguars Gold Club. 

“I don’t think there’s a problem with stripping if that’s what a woman chooses to do with her body,” Betty Kilcrease, an El Pasoan said. “As long as the place is a licensed place, is following the rules and the law, and is not within school or family areas.”

Other El Pasoans said they aren’t surprised by the shutdown and only hope for safer spaces for the public and the workers.

“As someone who grew up around Jaguars being talked about by older role models, you realize that places that promote adult content often promote other illegal activities,” UTEP student Victor Ramos said. “Of course there will always be better alternatives to an entertainment bar, but I also understand that it’s on the owner if they wish to steer in that direction. I would just wish that it becomes a place where people can be safe, and workers can be protected.” 

As of now, the city has made no further comments regarding the opening of a new club in place of Jaguars.

Alyda Muela is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; on Instagram.

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About the Contributors
Alyda Muela
Alyda Muela, Contributor/Writer
Alyda Muela is a sophomore at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is a contributor at The Prospector. She is a multimedia journalism major with a minor in general business. After graduation she hopes to travel the world to continue to pursue a career in journalism.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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