A Dallas hotel at the center of a Department of Justice drug trafficking probe is no more after being knocked to the ground this week by its new owner.
Demolition began Tuesday at Han Gil Hotel Town, a business described by the DOJ as a drug-infested motel at the center of a 23-defendant investigation where at least three people died of drug overdoses, according to a statement from Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
“For far too long, the Han Gil played host to a parade of despicable criminals engaged in drug dealing, murder, and human trafficking,” said Cox. “With the destruction of the building, we have closed a chapter of the Han Gil horror story – but rest assured, our work taking down the many drug dealers that once frequented the facility is far from over.”
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The former owner, Amos Su Young Mun, pleaded guilty to "maintaining a drug-involved premises" and was sentenced to 20 years in a trial last August. The Han Gil Hotel was then forfeited to the government and sold to a local developer under a condition that the developer demolish the building within 120 days of closing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Once the demolition is complete, the developer plans to replace the former drug den with new, mixed-use apartment and retail buildings.
To date, 23 defendants have been charged in the Han Gil cases, and 17 have pleaded guilty, including Eric Dewayne Freeman, nicknamed “Stuff,” and Kendrick Lamel Washington, nicknamed “Kiki."
In their guilty pleas, the pair admitted that they and other dealers routinely used so-called “trap rooms” within the Han Gil to peddle drugs and that Mun tipped them off before law enforcement or city officials entered the premises, among many other drug trafficking crimes that led to a combined 60 years in federal prison.
“Drug trafficking and the violent acts that accompany it destroy lives and leave families shattered. Now, the Han Gil, through its shattered glass and destroyed walls, will no longer be a visible symbol of the abhorrent crimes committed within its walls,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Eduardo A. Chávez. “The North Texas Strike Force will continue its relentless pursuit of justice to ensure those who prey on the addicted are held accountable.”