Longview Restaurant Raided, Owner Indicted - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

03/03/04

Longview Restaurant Raided, Owner Indicted

A Longview restaurant owner is in federal custody tonight, facing more than a dozen drug and firearm charges, some of which involving incidents at the restaurant itself. 36-year-old Ziber Kaba was arrested following a raid by members of the FBI, U.S. Marshal's office and the Gregg County District Attorney's Office. Authorities converged on Kaba's Little Italy restaurant on Highway 80 in Longview this morning. The Italian restaurant was closed to the public while a Gregg County K-9 unit searched the building. A box of evidence was taken out along with a rifle. Two Hispanic workers from the restaurant were taken into custody shortly after an officer from the INS arrived, but it's not clear yet what either of the men were charged with. Ziber Kaba, otherwise known as Billy, was brought to the federal courthouse in Tyler to hear the unsealing of indictments against him. A federal grand jury in Tyler returned a 13-count indictment yesterday. Kaba faces one (1) count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of methamphetamine, nine (9) counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of methamphetamine, and three (3) counts of use and carrying of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Kaba allegedly used his Little Italy restaurant in Longview as a meeting place for some of these drug transactions. Kaba is also accused of arranging the sale and delivery of firearms. Kaba allegedly obtained the drugs from numerous sources, including East Texas, Dallas, and El Paso. The U.S. Attorney's Office is asking for the forfeiture of $1 million in cash, believed to be the total profits from these drug deals. Channel 7 news has learned the two other Little Italy restaurants, one in Longview and another in Tyler, are separately owned by members of Kaba's family. Those two Little Italy restaurants are not part of this indictment.

Kevin Berns kberns@kltv.com and Amy Tatum atatum@kltv.com reporting

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