Deputies catch on to scheme

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2004

EUTAW-Three people including the owner of the Eutaw One Stop and a 17-year-old juvenile were arrested Wednesday, May 5, in what the sheriff of Greene County is calling a thwarted extortion attempt.

Christy Gee, 26, of Eutaw and a 17 year-old juvenile entered into the Eutaw One Stop on Wednesday with the plan of letting the juvenile try to buy some alcohol and cigarettes from the store. According to Greene County Sheriff Johnny Isaac, Nageeb Alomari, 25, of Tuscaloosa sold the alcohol and cigarettes to the minor while the sister took photos of the transaction.

The mother of the juvenile went to the store once she found out about her under-aged daughter being allowed to purchase tobacco and alcohol and confronted the owner about it.

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Isaac said the mother called the police to report the owner for selling the alcohol and cigarettes to her daughter. He said he thought the whole thing smelled “fishy.” Because of that, Gee, Alomari and the juvenile were arrested.

“I believe it was a setup to extort money from the owner,” Isaac said.

He said he believes the mother may also be involved in the plot and she may also be arrested at a later date.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time such a scheme has been attempted.

“It has happened in other stores around the area in the surrounding counties,” said Isaac. “We are currently working with another police department trying to figure out what happened in the other store.”

The director of the enforcement division of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Roy Houlton, said he hasn’t heard of this type of attempt to extort money from a store. He also said he would contact the division in Tuscaloosa to inform them about this incident and to offer their help in the matter.

Alomari was arrested on charges of selling alcohol and cigarettes to a minor and was released on $2,500 bond. Gee was arrested on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was released on $1,500 bond. The juvenile was arrested on charges of a minor in possession of alcohol and was released to her mother.

District Attorney Greg Griggers said Monday that he is unfamiliar with the case, as of now. However, Griggers said any findings of extortion would be charges he pursued.