Paterson couple Miriam and Eligio Rodriguez arrested, accused of operating illegal club in basement

Police say a Paterson couple was operating an illegal club on their quiet street, and weren't going down easily.

Police say a Paterson couple was operating an illegal club on their quiet street, and weren't going down easily. (11/19/13)

PATERSON - Police say a Paterson couple was operating an illegal club on their quiet street, and weren't going down easily.

Miriam and Eligio Rodriguez were operating a club and a neighborhood bar out of their own home, according to investigators.

Neighbors were not surprised about the arrests. "There have been a lot of stories about bad things happening in after-hours clubs and parties," says Dawn Rankl. "Sad to say, but it's not uncommon in this area."

Authorities say that when they went inside the home early Sunday morning, Miriam Rodriguez padlocked about 20 customers in the basement bar area in an attempt to hide the illegal activity.

Reports indicate that the bust was part of an alcohol crackdown in the area following neighbor complaints, as well as part of a growing movement in Paterson to reduce overnight crime.

Miriam Rodriguez is charged with putting customers in danger by locking them in the basement and Eligio is charged with selling alcohol without a license.

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