F’ville cops bust 5 store workers for underage alcohol sales
It really doesn’t pay to sell alcohol to underage buyers. That is what the clerks at five Fayetteville convenience stores found out Nov. 26. All were arrested after selling to an underage buyer who was working with Fayetteville Police. The good news is that seven other stores refused to make the sale.
Department spokesperson Det. Mike Whitlow said the underage buyer worked with members of the Fayetteville Police Criminal Investigations Unit and the Fayetteville Police Warrant Unit as they conducted Special Operation Beer Buy 2010.
“This operation used an underage informant to attempt to purchase alcohol from the 12 convenience stores in the city. The informant was successful in those attempts in five of those 12 stores,” Whitlow said.
Whitlow said the purchases were made during the late evening and nighttime hours.
The stores and employees charged with selling alcohol included Vikki Kelly at Thomas BP on North Glynn Street, Nisar Rana at Star BP on North Glynn Street, Daljit Sahney at the Village Market on North Glynn Street, Musharaf Khan at the Pit Stop North/Phillips 66 on North Glynn Street and Kelly Martin at Grady BP on West Lanier Avenue.
Commenting on the operation, Whitlow said he was surprised that so many stores were willing to sell alcohol without any identification being shown. Whitlow also said it was to the credit of the other stores for refusing the sale after asking for identification.
Whitlow said his department conducts similar operations around the city and has made arrests on previous occasions. The Nov. 26 operation also coincided with complaints from area residents that underage sales were occurring.
Viewed from the broader aspects of the consequences of selling to underage buyers, Whitlow said officers are always concerned with the number of cases involving minors possessing alcohol.
“We’ve had a lot of this activity this year here and countywide. And we’re concerned about the incidence of DUI’s that often accompany possession,” Whitlow said. “This type of operation is one way to safeguard minors and the community.”