June 1, 2022 Vol. 21


The National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) is a non-profit association

of law enforcement personnel dedicated to the enforcement of liquor laws and regulations.

Click Here to Renew 2022-23 NLLEA Membership

To renew your NLLEA Agency Membership for 2022-23 go to www.nllea.org and log in with your email and password.   Click on my agency, (right below your name) that will take you to your agency page, then click on renew membership, it is a purple button in left corner, then enter your credit card information and hit submit. If you have any problems at all just call Carrie Christofes, Executive Director at 724-762-5939 and she will take your payment over the phone. 

Click Here to Register for the 2022 NLLEA Conference

Conference Registration and Hotel Booking are Now Available

Registration is $500.00 for members and $650.00 for non-members

Hotel Accomodations for NLLEA Guests is $149.00/night

NLLEA Conference is a professional law enforcement event, open to NLLEA members, qualified non-members, public health professionals and exhibitors

CA-ABC Shuts Down an Illegal Still and Butane Honey Oil Lab in Petaluma

Agents of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) have arrested a Petaluma man for allegedly manufacturing and selling marijuana-infused alcohol and distilled spirits without a license.

On Thursday, May 26, ABC agents executed a search warrant in the 500 block of Williams Drive in the City of Petaluma and arrested 59-year-old James Joseph Barbera Jr. of Petaluma at his home. When agents arrived at the residence, they found both an illegal still and evidence of a butane honey oil lab operation with a large amount of finished honey oil products ready for sale. The illegal still was allegedly being used to make various high-proof distilled spirits products for sale. Butane honey oil lab operations, also known as a hash oil lab, commonly use butane (a flammable and odorless gas) to extract concentrated THC from marijuana. Butane honey oil lab operations can be extremely volatile and dangerous with the potential for a fire or explosion being an imminent threat to a surrounding community.

ABC received assistance from the Petaluma Police and Fire Departments, as well as local Code Enforcement Officers to safely secure the residence and mitigate the dangers posed by the illegal operations. The residence was tagged by the City of Petaluma Code Enforcement as uninhabitable due to the hazardous materials located that were allegedly used to manufacture a controlled substance.

“These types of illegal operations are dangerous and when conducted in a residential setting, present a significant public safety hazard. I am thankful that with assistance from our public safety partners we were able to identify and mitigate a significant threat to the community,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata.”

ABC Agents were able to purchase allegedly illegally manufactured distilled spirits, marijuana infused distilled spirits, and hash oil from Barbera prior to the service of the search warrant.

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AL-Party's over: Police find guns, drugs and booze after graduation party noise complaint

Southside police investigating a noise complaint on Daystar Lane Saturday discovered a party with about 100 people present — most of them underage and drinking — according to Chief Blake Ragsdale.

Six surrounding law enforcement agencies came out to help, and they found guns — at least one had been reported stolen in Gadsden — along with narcotics and alcohol.

A 33-year-old woman who was hosting the graduation party has been charged with violating the Alabama Open House Party Law, a Class B misdemeanor.

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TX-Police: Spirit Emporium owner arrested for selling alcohol to minors

The Amarillo Police Department released information about an investigation of underage drinking and the subsequent arrest of a local store owner. 

According to a news release, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Amarillo officers were spotted up at the Spirit Emporium located at 4617 Western.

"We have been receiving information the owner of this store was selling alcohol to persons under 21 years of age," the APD release says. "Officers observed a female, who appeared to be under age 21, enter the store. A short time later she came back out with alcoholic beverages and placed them in the back seat of a vehicle. Officers followed the female in the vehicle and observed a traffic violation and made a traffic stop. The female was identified and found to be 18 years of age. She gave a statement in which she admitted to buying the alcohol. She then told officers she was never asked for identification by the clerk who is also the owner."

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Gang member connected to Grand Rapids bar shooting sentenced to decade behind bars

A Grand Rapids gang member has been sentenced to almost ten years behind bars.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says 30-year-old Steven Chavez Phillips-Hall was sentenced to spend 115 months in prison Thursday for felony firearms possession and for taking part in gang-related shootings last summer.

We’re told Phillips-Hall was a known Bemis Street gang member.

The DOJ says the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) recovered a pair of pistols and large magazines while executing a search warrant at Phillips-Hall’s apartment in March 2021 during an assault investigation.

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NC-Store Clerk and Juvenile Charged After Fatal Underage Crash

Following a fatal underage crash earlier this month, a St. Paul’s convenience store clerk and a juvenile have been criminally charged. 

On the evening of Saturday, May 7, North Carolina State Highway Patrol (SHP) responded to a single-vehicle crash in Lumberton. The 17-year-old female driver and only occupant was killed. SHP contacted ALE after alcoholic beverages were located inside the vehicle the night of the crash.

Through the course of the ALE investigation, special agents determined a male 17-year-old purchased malt beverages from Happy Mart #5, located at 19369 US-301, St. Pauls, then sold them to the underage driver.

The 17-year-old male was identified as a fellow classmate of the driver and was found in possession of a handgun, drug paraphernalia, and marijuana. He admitted to possessing the weapon at school, purchasing the alcoholic beverages from the Happy Mart #5, then selling them to the underage driver.

A juvenile petition was secured for felony possession of a handgun by a juvenile on school grounds, aggravated possession of marijuana, possess drug paraphernalia, underage possession of alcoholic beverages, aid and abet an underage person, and selling alcoholic beverages without a permit.

The clerk, Ameer Mohamed Sal Alhobishi, 19, of St. Pauls, was charged with selling malt beverages to an underage person, selling tobacco to an underage person, aid and abet an underage person, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and allowing unlawful conduct on an ABC-licensed premises.

The store’s permittee and the corporation were also criminally charged.

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Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Chairman Tim Holden Becomes Chairman Of National Alcohol Beverage Control Association

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) Chairman Tim Holden assumed the role of chairman of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), the national association representing jurisdictions that directly control the distribution and sale of beverage alcohol within their borders.

“One of the things I loved about serving in Congress was that I got to work with people from all around the country. Everyone brought their own sets of priorities, and everyone had their own experiences and unique points of view that shaped how they voted and what was important to them. In many ways, NABCA is a lot like that,” Holden explained. “NABCA members come from all different parts of the country, and we’ve all been shaped by our own experiences and local priorities and interests. But we also share something in common – we are control systems and that unites us. We all work toward common goals – protecting public health and safety and ensuring responsible and efficient systems for beverage alcohol distribution and sales.”

Established in 1938, NABCA serves its members by providing research, analytics, and alcohol regulatory information, and acts as liaison to federal, state, and local governments, research groups, public health associations, the media, and other organizations impacting alcohol policy.

Holden has served on the NABCA Board of Directors since 2015. He has been involved in several of the association’s committees including Finance, Governance, Public Affairs, Internal Affairs, the Pension Plan Trustees Committee, and the Chairman’s Task Force.

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Columbus Dispatch: Ohio lawmakers want to make it a felony to provide alcohol to minors if it leads to a fatality

In the early morning hours on Father's Day 2020, Frank and Sharon Pacek got a call from the Medina Twp. Police Department about their 19-year-old son, Trevor.

Officers summoned them to a house where Trevor and two friends had a bonfire and party.

The details are seared in Sharon Pacek's memory: Arriving at 6 a.m. No sign of Trevor. Officers telling her the teens had been drinking alcohol when they took a small boat out on a pond. It capsized. Her son was dead.

The Pacek family is now working with state Rep. Sharon Ray, R-Wadsworth, to change state law and make it a felony for adults to provide alcohol to minors if it results in a death.

Under the bill announced Tuesday, House Bill 674, violators would be charged with a fourth-degree felony. If it becomes law, it would require courts to issue a mandatory prison term of six to 18 months. 

A parent of one of the boys at the party entered a plea of no contest to charges of falsification and furnishing alcohol to minors. The charges constituted a misdemeanor, a fine of $2,817 and he was sentenced to 120 days in jail, 200 hours of community service and five years probation.

"The sentence is a lot but it doesn't go far enough," Sharon Pacek said.

She said the details of her son's death remain vivid in her memory.

"Law enforcement brought in a cadaver dog," she said. "To this day I can still hear that dog's bark. His bark gave me hope."

But soon after, the barking suddenly stopped. Silence fell over the property as Sharon came to the realization that her son's body had been found.

"I knew Trevor wasn't coming home with us," Sharon said. "He wouldn't be home to celebrate Father's Day with his father."

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If you have Alcohol Law Enforcement news to share please send it to Carrie Christofes, Executive Director carrie.christofes@nllea.org

2021-22 NLLEA Board Members:

Todd Merlina, President - PA - tmerlina@pa.gov

Thomas Kirby, Vice President - VA - thomas.kirby@virginiaabc.com

Israel Morrow, Secretary/Treasurer - NC - israel.morrow@ncdps.gov

Jim Diana, Sergeant at Arms - DE -james.diana@delaware.gov

John Yeomans, President - DE - john.yeomans@delaware.gov

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