Crisp Co. officials arrest clerks, owners from 6 stores in illeg - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crisp Co. officials arrest clerks, owners from 6 stores in illegal alcohol sting

CORDELE, GA (WALB) - Clerks and store owners from five Crisp County convenience stores have been arrested after authorities said they illegally sold alcohol.

The arrest warrants were served Tuesday after undercover agents under the age of 21 purchased alcohol from the stores. 

The operation also caught stores that were selling alcohol on Sunday. Officials said the undercover agents went into stores and attempted to purchase alcohol under the supervision of the Crisp Co. Sheriff's office and Cordele Police.

Other undercover agents attempted to purchase alcohol on a Sunday from stores.

The stores found in violation are listed below:

    At Eastside Grocery on East 8th Avenue, Hannah Ruth Seigler was charged with selling alcohol to a minor.

    At Joe's Supermarket on South Joe Wright Drive, Kashmira and Vijay "Joe" Patel were charged with selling alcohol on Sunday.

    At Sunset Food Mart on West 24th Avenue, Sonny Chaudhari was charged with selling alcohol on Sunday.

    At U.S. Discount Store on South 7th Street, Pravinbhai Patel was charged with selling alcohol to a minor.

    At Cordele Food Mart on East 24th Avenue, Andy Sukhadiy was charged with selling alcohol to a minor.

    At Shorty's Quick Stop on Bedgood Avenue in Arabi, Binal Patel was charged with selling alcohol to a minor.

The two month investigation began when concerned parents called the Crisp County Sheriff's office about their kids coming home with alcohol.

"It wasn't a matter of someone having a fake id or a good fake id. It was just a matter of the individuals walking up and purchasing alcohol and paying for it an leaving the store and they were selling to people on Sunday," said Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock. 

Cordele and Crisp County ordinances don't allow these stores, which prominently display their sale of alcohol on the outside, to sell on Sundays. 

Sheriff Hancock says a simple misunderstanding of city codes is not an excuse. 

"Whatever jurisdiction you buy your license in, you know what the laws are in that jurisdiction and each one of these businesses had a valid business license for Cordele and Crisp County,"said Hancock. 

Even after these arrests, Sheriff Hancock insists it's an ongoing investigation, and he and the Cordele Police Chief will continue to work. 

"It's part of our job and as people continue to complain and continue to bring those concerns to this agency, Chief Hooper and I will continue to do our job." 

The local governments will decide whether to punish the convenient store owners by suspending or taking away their alcohol licenses. 

Sheriff Hancock says other store owners should ID everyone who comes in to buy alcohol to avoid selling to minors and remember that selling on Sundays is illegal.


Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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