Northwest Indiana restaurants part of El Rodeo raids

Indiana State Police and excise officers also raided two northwestern Indiana Mexican restaurants as part of a Marion County grand jury investigation that involves  numerous restaurants in central Indiana, including El Rodeo restaurants in Indianapolis.

The Times of Munster said the raids Monday at La Carreta restaurants in Merrillville and Schererville were part of a larger investigation that targeted El Rodeo restaurants in the Indianapolis area, Lafayette, West Lafayette and Richmond.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said search warrants were served at numerous locations as part of an ongoing investigation but his office isn't commenting any further. A spokeswoman said the Marion County and Tippecanoe County prosecutors' offices initiated the investigation.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office assisted with the raid in Indianapolis. Officers took pictures of several employees and seized cash, business documents and  cash registers, which they turned over to the grand jury.

El Jaripeo Mexican Restaurant in New Palestine, which is owned by El Rodeo principal Francisco Salgado of Indianapolis, also was raided Monday. Salgado could not be reached for comment.

The raids also targeted the homes of at least two El Rodeo employees in the Indianapolis area.

The Times said the restaurants in northwestern Indiana are owned by Arnulfo Gonzalez. He doesn't have a published home telephone number.

Many of the 20 or so El Rodeo restaurants in central Indiana reopened Wednesday after being closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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