June 13, 2013 Contact: Marian O'Briant
Several citations issued during alcohol compliance checks
The Blount County Sheriff's Office, Blount County District Attorney General's Office, Maryville Police Department, Alcoa Police Department, and the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force partnered with the Blount County Substance Abuse Prevention Action Team (SAPAT) in an effort to reduce underage drinking. Through this partnership, a multijurisdictional countywide alcohol compliance check was conducted on June 10 - 11. During this operation, 32 alcohol retailers were checked for compliance, and 11 were cited or charged with selling alcohol to a person under age 21:
" Browns Creek Wine & Spirits, 1701 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville
Ashelle O. LaGrange, 40, Middlesettlements Road, Maryville
" Danny K's Riverside Restaurant, 7613 Old Highway 73, Townsend
Susan Gill, 45, Black Mash Hollow Road, Townsend
" El Sazon Mexican Restaurant, 2650 Alcoa Highway, Alcoa
Ana Ramirez-Sandoval, 32, Comfort Avenue, Maryville
" Green Meadow Wine & Spirits, 1112 Hunters Crossing Drive, Alcoa
Dallas C. Myers, 27, Wheeler Road, Louisville
" Ian's Market #2, 3108 Ralph Phelps Road, Maryville
Rohitkumar K. Patel, 28, unknown address
" Los Amigos, 409 Cusick Street, Maryville
Laura M. Gomez, 51, Windridge Drive, Maryville
" Pizza Hut, 804 Foothills Mall Drive, Maryville
Laura J. Worley, 30, Raulston View Drive, Maryville
" Rite Stop #4, 102 Calderwood Highway, Maryville
Tara L. Crisp, 24, Calderwood Highway, Maryville
" Shooter's Sports Bar and Grill, 4514 Airport Highway, Louisville
Virginia Holland, 55, Joshua Road, Seymour
" Smoker's Discount, 2164 E. Broadway Ave., Maryville
Ashley A. Kline, 29, Self Hollow Road, Rockford
" The Market, 606 High Street, Maryville
Chandra V. Pucci, 39, Blue Forest Lane, Maryville
Sandoval and Myers are scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 in Alcoa Municipal Court. LaGrange, Worley, Gomez, Kline and Pucci are scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 in Maryville Municipal Court. Gill and Holland are scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 in Blount County General Sessions Court. Crisp appeared in Blount County General Sessions Court on Tuesday, June 12, and her date was reset for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3.
Patel was arrested in lieu of a citation due to lack of proper identification. He appeared in Blount County General Sessions Court on Tuesday, June 12 and was sentenced to a $50 fine and 11 months and 29 days of supervised probation. He was released after a temporary hold for ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
The compliance check followed a letter that was sent to all alcohol retailers on May 10 in Blount County, Alcoa and Maryville, which warned alcohol retailers of an upcoming compliance check over the summer.
"Law enforcement, the district attorney's office, and SAPAT strategically planned to conduct the compliance operation during this time," Blount Memorial Foundation and Community Outreach project manager Jessica Stith said. "During the next few months, teens are more likely to experiment with alcohol as summer boredom sets in and they have less obligations and school-related sports and events."
Alcohol retailers were informed that there would be a compliance check on an undisclosed date during the summer to give them a chance to educate their employees on proper ID checking, and to make sure they are on the lookout for potential underage customers looking to buy alcohol. The Blount County Substance Abuse Prevention Action Team offers free training for alcohol retailers, as well as tools and education materials for managers and employees to use in order to avoid underage alcohol sales.
In the 2011 Tennessee Partnership for Success Student Survey, 76% of 10th and 12th graders in Blount County who tried to buy alcohol in the past 30 days were able to purchase it, and 56% said they were not asked to show proof of age.
"Like us, we know that most of our alcohol retailers in Blount County are concerned about this issue. We applaud the retailers who are properly training their employees and who passed the compliance check", Blount County Sheriff James Berrong said.
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