Nepheles punished for employee’s behavior |

Nepheles punished for employee’s behavior

William Ferchland, Tribune staff writer

Nepheles Restaurant is temporarily closed while its liquor license is suspended for 25 days. This is punishment for the Ski Run Boulevard restaurant’s having a bartender assist in cocaine sales at the site.

SLEDNET, South Shore’s drug enforcement agency, arrested two people in April after an investigation found a bartender was referring people to a customer, Efren Gonzalez, who would sell them cocaine.

As a result, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board suspended the restaurant’s liquor license on Oct. 23. The restaurant will reopen in November.

Jody Easley Mitchell, the former bartender, pleaded no contest in June to being an accessory to a felony and paid a $603 fine.

Gonzalez pleaded no contest to one count of possession of cocaine and two counts of possession for sale. He received one year in county jail, five years of probation, $6,000 in fines and deportation after his jail time.

– E-mail William Ferchland at

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In other news:

n A motorcyclist who died Oct. 17 on Highway 395 near Topaz Lake has been identified as Gene Ferris of Gardnerville. He was 62.

A California Highway Patrol report determined the sun temporarily blinded Ferris which caused him to fail to make the curve on his 1998 Honda motorcycle and run off the southbound shoulder.

He was traveling 50 mph in a 35 mph zone before the motorcycle hit a large rock on the shoulder, officers said.

n The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department extinguished a small brush fire on the Bijou Golf Course on hole No. 5. The call went out at 3 p.m. Friday for the smoky blaze that covered an area measuring 15 by 25 feet. Fire officials believe the fire was started by children.

– Tribune News Service contributed to this report.