Police raid El Rodeo restaurants in several counties

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The Marion County Prosecutor’s office led a multicounty police raid at lunchtime Monday that closed numerous eateries in the El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant chain.

Indiana State Police helped conduct the raids for Marion County, Tippecanoe County and at least one other county. Two Wayne County restaurants, in Richmond, were part of the investigation.

Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, said her office was leading the “multicounty” effort, which involved serving search warrants. She declined to say exactly how many restaurants or counties were involved, or reveal the reason for the investigation.

Roughly 20 El Rodeo restaurants operate in central Indiana. Phone calls to numerous El Rodeo locations in Marion, Hamilton and Hendricks counties went unanswered Monday afternoon.

The Journal-Courier reported that three restaurants in Tippecanoe County, two in Lafayette and one in West Lafayette, were part of the raid.

Calls to most of the area's El Rodeo restaurants went unanswered late Tuesday morning. Employees at the restaurants at 2606 N. High School Road in Indianapolis and in Greenwood said those locations have reopened.

El Rodeo locations in Richmond were open Tuesday, the Palladium-Item reported.

McLeish said the prosecutor’s office would provide more information if charges were filed.

This story has been updated.



    WOW! The fact that you people are defending a business that just got raided is ridiculous and sounds like you work there. Do you think there was no reason for this in the first place? Hello looks like tax fraud, money laundering, or something else financial. This business is not a good business just because you like their CHIPS and SALASA. They don't even have a web page or customer service contact or email because they don't care what customers think. They know you will eat crap food and love it. If you think this is the best mexican food in Indianapolis you should try some restaurants that take longer than 4 minutes to prepare your meal. Hope the entire empire goes down.
  • Good Job IBJ!
    Good job, IBJ, in writing a story about nothing. Is this a new thing you're doing? Letting your readers write "the rest of the story" in comment form? I expect more from you. Your investigative stories have led the way for some serious cases, but this one is purely reactionary to the well-timed-for-the-noon-news raid.
  • Pam
    I believe part of it was they forgot they had to pay taxes on that money!!! :)
  • What is the crime?
    This story is poorly written as it does not even state that they don't know what the warrants were for. Remember in Putnum Cty they were serving deer. A lot of speculation but what was the criminal activity?
  • Laundering camp
    I tend to agree with the Gus Fring Los Pollos Hermanos line of thinking. It's not an ethnicity issue rather any business that's has the legitimate opportunity to operate in a cash world, not many of those left?
  • Need to know more
    My husband and I eat at El Rodeo at Michigan Rd. and 106th St. every Friday night. It's as close to Tex-Mex as I've had and I'm from San Antonio. All of their fans need to know more and whether of not their restaurant will be open, please.
  • Likely Honest
    I completely agree. They are hardworking .. and likely honest. I can't wait to hear what the charges are.
  • Intentional interference
    I am pro police, but if this article is correct the police chose lunchtime to display their raid publicly while customers were there... instead of any other time of day when they could fish around without hurting the business. If True that's malicious. Anyone know which detective swore this warrant out?
  • The best
    I actually eat more Mexican food in SoCal than Indy, but the El Rodeo location I go to (the quality does vary somewhat from location to location)has as good of Mexican food as any in town. The Chili Verde is awesome, and the green tomatillo sauce on their Burritos Roqueta has the piquancy lacking at most chain Amer-Mex restaurants. I'm guessing the raids were immigration related.
  • Huh?
    Don't know what the raid is about, deapea...but if you think El Rodeo is the best Mexican food in Indy, you don't know much about Mexican food...
  • Sales Tax
    Methinks this is about ripping off customers by charging them 15% sales tax.
  • Ha!
    I was thinking the same thing when I saw the story this morning. Gus Fring lives!
  • Waste of time
    I have worked for this group of restaurants for 10 years. I have never known a more honest or hard working group of people. I'm confident that at the end of the day this will all have been a very big waste of time and money.
    • el jaripeo
      They also raided the El Jaripeo restaurants on East Washington St and in New Palestine.
    • So...
      Before they changed their name to El Rodeo they were called Los Pollos Hermanos.
      • Good Food
        I hope that it works out for them and that they have their books and employees in order. I love their food. It's the best Mexican food in Indy. I'd hate to see it disappear.
        • drugs???
          this has nothing to do with food, they seized a 3 cars, one was a ferrari.
        • What A Joke
          Why not raid McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and several other fast food restaurants. This is nothing more than Grandstanding for the Media. I challenge local, state, and federal prosecutors to "step-up-to-the-plate" and go after franchisees that knowingly hire illegals, and they have been doing so for years. Why is it that the Prosecutor's Office is not arresting the CEO and Operations Managers for McDonalds at the company's Chicago Headquarters? Campaign contributors is my guess.
        • Hmmm
          Great. Yet another useless attempt at controlling a problem from the bottom up. Lets attack hard working people who have obviously done well for themselves and are helping others do the same. But at the same time, lets completely ignore companies like Smithfield Foods, who actually make deals with local authorities regarding their illegal workers.

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