Newbern man arrested for illegal alcohol sales

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2005

A recent undercover sting by state ABC officials has nabbed a Newbern man accused of illegally selling alcohol.

According to reports filed with the Perry County Sheriff’s Department, Norman James Pair, 47, of Newbern was arrested by Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control officials on February 5 and charged with the sale of alcohol without a license.

The sting resulted in an additional on-site arrest by the ABC officers, of a Marion man named David Leon Brown, 39. who has been charged with second-degree marijuana possession.

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According to the reports, an undercover agent working for the ABC Board entered the premises of Dee’s Place, a business located on County Rd 48 in Newbern, on February 5 with the intention to buy alcohol. He succeeded, purchasing two Budweiser beers from Pair.

That sale initiated a search of the Dee’s Place premises by officers, which uncovered a large supply of alcohol for sale, including beer, bourbon, and gin. As Pair could not produce a license to sell the alcohol, he was arrested.

According to Captain John Richardson, head of the state ABC’s Licensing and Permit Bureau and Assistant Director of Enforcement, the sale of alcohol without a license is a misdemeanor charge that could carry penalties as stiff as $1,000 in fines and a 12-month jail term.

Sergeant Alan Lard, Supervisor for the ABC’s Wilcox County Enforcement Bureau that has jurisdiction in the case, was unavailable for comment on the investigation. Richardson did say that in cases like the one in question, the Bureau could have received information from any number of sources.

“Our agents are out there,” he said. “Sometimes local officers will give us some information, or maybe they have received complaints that they pass on to us. Often complaints will come from other local businesses, licensed establishments. They’ve gotten the required permits, have met with regulatory officers, and abide by the law. Then someone starts selling without having done the work they did, without paying any taxes, and it hurts their business.”

Richardson said that his agency is always doing their best to catch perpetrators like the ones discovered in Newbern.

“I don’t want anyone to think ‘No one is doing anything about this,'” he said. “We’re trying, and it may save lives.”