NEW PALESTINE — Indiana State Police officers served search warrants at a restaurant on Main Street Monday morning. Investigators confiscated records, but no arrests were made.
Little information was released about the raid at the El Jaripeo Mexican restaurant in the first block of West Main Street. The Marion County prosecutor’s office is taking the lead in the investigation and would not comment on the warrants, which were sealed. The actions at El Jaripeo, however, were part of a larger operation, officials said.
“There are a number of search warrants being executed across the state,” said Peg McLeish, communications director for the Marion County prosecutor’s office. “This is an ongoing investigation, and it is a multicounty investigation, and that is all I can say at this time.”
State Police officers also shut down the El Jaripeo restaurant at 10417 E. Washington St. in Indianapolis. Both restaurants are owned by the same family, said Emmanuel Rosado, a real estate representative for the family.
He spoke for the family when the restaurant opened in New Palestine in early 2013. In a phone interview from Puerto Rico on Monday, Rosado said he was shocked to hear of the police investigation.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Rosado said.
Several marked and unmarked Indiana State Police cars pulled into the El Jarpieo parking lot just before it was scheduled to open for business Monday morning. Law enforcement officials entered the building around 11 a.m. and were inside for a few minutes before several officers came out and posted signs that the restaurant would be temporarily closed.
State Police officers were assisted by at least one immigration officer during the initial process. A police car from the West Lafayette Police Department also was parked outside.
It is not known why officials from Tippecanoe County were part of raid. Calls to the Tippecanoe County prosecutor’s office were not returned.
New Palestine Police Chief Bob Ehle said his department was contacted by State Police officials shortly before 11 a.m. and was asked to secure the area while state officials served the warrants.
“From what we’ve been told, this is a pretty large investigation,” Ehle said. “I’m not sure what they are looking for, but from what I’ve been told, this is just one of about 50 different locations.”
Police officers who had been at the restaurant on East Washington Street left there around 3 p.m. and could be seen driving away with at least one car full of boxes with papers and a computer.
McLeish said the Marion County prosecutor’s office would offer more details when and if arrests are made.
“We’re just in the search warrant execution stage,” McLeish said.