About 10,000 gallons of counterfeit alcohol was seized from Mexican resorts, nightclubs, and restaurants after Abbey Conner, a 20-year-old American woman, consumed tainted alcohol and drowned in a hotel pool after passing out.
The Mexican government raided a total of 31 resorts in Playa del Carmen and Cancun over the weekend. The popular tourist establishments may have been serving counterfeit and tainted alcohol to their customers. The bar at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya hotel, where Abbey Conner was staying, has been temporarily shut down, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.
The Fat Tuesday nightclub was also shuttered temporarily while Mexican law enforcement officials investigate the counterfeit alcohol problem.
Abbey Conner’s brother, Austin, is also believed to have suffered from tainted alcohol poisoning. The Wisconsin siblings were not the only tourists lodging at the same resort who reported blacking out after drinking only small or moderate amounts of liquor. Last month, the State Department issued a warning to Americans traveling to Mexico about possible tainted alcohol.
Abbey Conner was on vacation with her brother and parents at the Playa del Carmen area hotel in January when she died. Abbey and her 22-year-old brother visited a swim-up bar attached to the pool at the Mexican resort. The Pewaukee, Wisconsin, siblings and another group of vacationers were reportedly offered a shot of whiskey while at the Mexican resort bar.
The Mexican government has long been aware of the country’s problems with counterfeit and otherwise illicit alcohol. https://t.co/uTQTvKCoeQ
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 14, 2017
Austin Conner said he remembers swimming in the pool for a short time after accepting the shot of whiskey, but then without warning, the “lights went out.” Both he and his sister were discovered floating in the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort pool. Abbey Conner was found floating face down and was unresponsive.
Austin Conner had somehow suffered a large bump on his head and had a severe concussion. Both of the American tourists were transported to a local hospital. Abbey Conner was stabilized and then airlifted to a Florida hospital for additional medical treatment.
Not long after the young Wisconsin woman arrived in Florida, she was pronounced brain dead. Her family made the difficult decision to turn off her life support system.
Mystery in Mexico
UW-Whitewater student Abbey Conner died on vacation in January. Abbey’s story now making national headlines. story @ 5. pic.twitter.com/H8GPMk5KTZ
— Tim Elliott (@WISN_Tim) July 26, 2017
The Iberostar resort claims it strictly adheres to government regulatory standards and only buys sealed bottles of liquor. The Conner family is now suing the Mexican resort. Abbey Conner’s parents maintain the resort has refused to cooperate with the investigation into the death of their daughter, the Daily Mail reports.
The Mexican government has seized more than 1.4 million gallons of counterfeited alcohol from various resorts and tourist entertainment establishments since 2010.
[Featured Image by Alexey Lysenko/Shutterstock]